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Aerospace Parkway officially dedicated

Posted at 10:29 PM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 00:29:45-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A ribbon cutting with local, state, and federal officials took place Monday afternoon next to Aerospace Parkway, which will be replacing Hughes Access Road and moving further south.

One major reason for the creation was to give Raytheon more buffer room to their south.

"We always are looking for opportunities and places to expand and increase our capabilities and given what the county has done with the help from the state and as Congresswoman [Martha] McSallly said, all the way up to the federal government, we have an opportunity now and that's what we asked for," said Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems.

Raytheon is one of the largest employers in the region with about 12,000 employees. Sources say this is one way of making them more comfortable in Tucon.

In addition to helping Raytheon, Aerospace Parkway also could help bring other employers into the area. Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckelberry, envisions a potential Aerospace Defense Business Park.

"We're actually talking to two new employers right now who might locate in this facility probably within the next year," said Huckelberry.

Congresswoman McSally says Aerospace Parkway is one step towards creating the Sonoran Corridor.

"The next stage of it needs to be the highway that connects I-19 to I-10," said the Congressional District 2 representative.

McSally says they want to make this area south of Raytheon into a major defense, aerospace, and trade sector. She introduced a bill this year in Congress that would make the Sonoran Corridor eligible for federal funding.