Council Votes To Move Forward With Broadway Expansion

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Not a good night for these folks - REBECCA NOBLE
  • Rebecca Noble
  • Not a good night for these folks

With a pair of 5-1 votes, the Tucson City Council voted to move forward with a plan to widen Broadway Boulevard to six lanes between downtown and Country Club Road.

The decisions allow the city to move forward with acquiring more property along the corridor to make room for the expansion, as well as to seek funding for the project from Regional Transportation Authority, which—along with Pima County—is footing most of the bill for the $72 million project.

Councilman Steve Kozachik was the sole vote against the project.

Tonight's vote was the latest step in a decades-long push to expand the central-city corridor and caps years of meetings that have resulted in an eight-lane project reduced to six lanes. But even the six-lane plan had many vocal opponents who complained that the project will knock down too many historic structures and diminish Broadway's "sense of place."

But the majority of the council said the project was a compromise and further delay would not result in significant changes to width of the corridor, although they did invite local architect Bob Vint to work with a team from the University of Arizona to tweak the project moving forward.

After the meeting, Vint—who had pushed for a different vision for the corridor—said it "remains to be seen" whether he could still have a significant impact on the future of the corridor.

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