Sun Link Modern Streetcar - University Area Look Ahead
Tucson’s Sun Link Modern Streetcar is an innovative transit project and is one of the projects outlined in the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Plan approved by voters in 2006. This project will connect Tucson’s major activity centers: The University of Arizona (UA), Main Gate Square, the Fourth Avenue entertainment and shopping district, Downtown, and the Mercado District. The 3.9 mile route expands from the Arizona Health Sciences Center to just west of I-10. More than 100,000 people live and work within a ½ mile of this route.
The Sun Link Modern Streetcar will benefit our community by:
- Creating new jobs, driving economic development, and fostering private investment.
- Connecting activity centers, neighborhoods, and communities.
- Improving transit service options for the region
The UA became a partner early in the planning phase of the streetcar and is a major stakeholder. Sun Link will change the way more than 50,000 students, faculty and staff access UA facilities and move about our community. The modern streetcar is a key component of the UA Comprehensive Campus Plan, allowing the landlocked campus to grow and develop, while promoting sustainability. For example, in the fall of 2011, the UA launched UA Downtown in the renovated Roy Place building and is currently holding classes there, with plans to add additional academic offerings at this site in the future. The UA also encouraged two private housing developers to plan and construct downtown student projects that will provide off campus housing for 1,200 students. A significant percentage of the Sun Link project team have graduated from the UA and feel that, when complete, Sun Link will bring tremendous benefits to the campus and surrounding area.
Sun Link’s eastern terminus is located near the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, with the streetcar traveling through the heart of campus: beginning at Helen Street and Warren Avenue, traveling through the Warren Underpass south to Second Street, heading along Second Street west to Park Avenue, turning south onto Park Avenue, then taking Park Avenue to University Boulevard through Main Gate Square.
Building the Sun Link system is the City of Tucson’s largest construction project to-date. It includes the removal of existing asphalt, relocating and replacing underground utilities, installing and embedding rail, repaving, and installing the overhead conductor system and vehicle stop platforms. Project construction began in April 2012 and is to be completed in 475-days --a fast and ambitious timeframe for a project of this caliber. The extensive nature of this work will require roadway and pedestrian walkway closure while improvements are made.
Construction Look Ahead – Please see map at: http://parking.arizona.edu/maps/documents/StreetCarAug2012_AugustConstructionMaprev_7-26-12.pdf for more information
Currently construction crews are working diligently on Sun Link project construction in the University area and weekly meetings are held to coordinate communications with both faculty and the student body. Areas of construction on and around campus currently include:
- University Boulevard from Euclid Avenue to Park Avenue
- Second Street from Park Avenue to Warren Avenue
- Warren Avenue from Second Street to Helen Street (including the Warren Avenue Underpass)
- Helen Street from Warren Avenue to just west of Martin Avenue
The availability and type of track to be placed impact the timing of construction and location of work zones: areas where curved track is needed will be constructed in the later stages of the project as this type of track requires more time to produce.
Listed below is information about access and the current work zones with anticipated dates of completion. Please note that these dates are subject to change.
University Access for Students, Employees and Visitors
- Pedestrian crossings will be established and maintained on Second Street at the Harvill Building, Olive Avenue, Highland Avenue and Cherry Avenue. These crossings may be closed or moved to accommodate construction activities. The Cherry Avenue crossing will be maintained during home football games and will be available to vehicular traffic during home games until Second Street is re-opened from Highland Avenue to Warren Avenue.
- When roadways are re-opened, the road will be paved and the sidewalks will be open; however, construction activities will still be under way and will require intermittent lane closures. Fences will be maintained to separate the roadway from sidewalk on Second Street. Cross walks will be ADA accessible, clearly delineated and marked.
- The Warren Avenue Underpass will be closed for approximately 8 months while construction crews modify the underpass for the streetcar vehicle. Bicyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to use Campbell Avenue or the Highland Avenue Underpass as an alternative route.
- Bicyclists should take care while cycling near construction zones. Suggested route detours on campus can be found at: http://parking.arizona.edu/alternative/bike.php
- For more information regarding resources available to disabled persons, please visit: http://drc.arizona.edu/
- Cat Tran route updates and detour information can be found at: http://parking.arizona.edu/alternative/cattran.php
- Parking information can be found by visiting the University of Arizona Parking and Transportation Services website at http://parking.arizona.edu/.
Current Work Zones
- Second Street, Park Avenue to Palm Drive (half way into the Student Union Loading Dock Drive):
- Roadway to re-open the week of August 13, 2012
- Second Street, Highland Avenue to Warren Avenue:
- Roadway to re-open the week of September 24, 2012
- Second Street, Palm Drive to Highland Avenue (includes intersection of Mountain Avenue and Second Street):
- Roadway closure to begin the week of September 20, 2012
- Roadway to re-open the week of December 3, 2012
- James E. Rogers Way will be converted to two-way traffic to provide access to the University of Arizona Memorial Student Union Center (SUMC) and the Second Street Garage permit entry
- Access to the Second Street Garage will be maintained from the east side of Second Street
- Access to the SUMC loading dock will be maintained from west side of Second Street
- Access to the 3039 Lot will be maintained from the west side of Second Street and Palm Drive beginning 8/13/12
- Warren Avenue from Second Street to Helen Street and Helen Street from Warren Avenue to just west of Martin Avenue
- Roadway to re-open to pedestrians and bikes the week of February 21, 2013
- University Boulevard, Park Avenue To Euclid Avenue
- Roadway to re-open the week of August 27, 2012
- Park Avenue, Second Street to University Boulevard
- Roadway closure to begin late fall 2012, work will take approximately 6 months to complete
To learn more about, follow the progress, see what has been accomplished to
date and stay connected to the project:
Parking & Transportation Services, 1117 E Sixth St, Tucson, AZ 85721-0181
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