La Cholla Boulevard: Project of the Year Award

Published on July 15, 2021


Oro Valley, Arizona (July 15, 2021) – The Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association has named Oro Valley winner of the 2021 Project of the Year for Transportation Projects $5 - $25 million for its project, La Cholla Boulevard: Overton Road to Tangerine Road.

The La Cholla project is one of the approved projects in the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan to widen La Cholla Boulevard from Magee Road to Tangerine Road. Phase I, Magee Road to Overton Road, was completed and managed by Pima County. Phase II, Overton Road to Tangerine Road, was managed by the Town of Oro Valley.

The improvements provide traffic capacity and all-weather crossings, improve user safety and operations, and increase mobility. The project completes a vital connection between two completed RTA projects: the 600-foot bridge structure over the Cañada Del Oro Wash to the south and Tangerine Road improvements to the north. Safety upgrades include widening, roadway profile, bicycle lanes, separate path/sidewalk, turn lanes at intersections, signalized pedestrian crossings, an equestrian crossing, and stormwater conveyance under La Cholla Blvd. that also provides safe animal crossings. The project was designed by AECOM, and construction provided by Hunter Contracting.

Oro Valley Public Works Director and Town Engineer Paul Keesler said of the award, “This was a remarkable project to complete. With nearly a year of the construction work taking place during the pandemic, it was through an extraordinary effort that we were able to maintain the progress and cost to deliver the project on schedule and on budget. My eternal thanks to the team of fantastic professionals who accomplished this feat.”

Throughout the design and construction, the Town of Oro Valley partnered with Pima County and the RTA. These partnerships allowed the town and county to pull assets and expertise together to form an excellent project team.

Additional project facts:

  • Plant salvage prior to construction yielded more than 2,800 native plants, including Saguaros. Salvage was done at no cost to the project primarily by Pima County Native Plant Nursery and Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society.
  • Pima County Real Property administered acquisitions and PC Native Plant Nursery provided about half of the trees and cacti for the project, greatly reducing the cost for both items
  • RTA Wildlife coordinated with the design and funded adjustments to drainage structures and fencing to create wildlife crossings.