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Broadway widening project to move forward

Posted at 11:31 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 02:34:22-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With a vote of 5-1 Tucson City Council has essentially approved the 30 percent design plans for the Broadway Improvement Project.

Mayor and Council made the decision in front of a full audience Tuesday night. The meeting had to be moved from city council chambers to the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting room to accommodate the crowds.

The Broadway Improvement Project would widen Broadway Blvd from four to six lanes, add buss pullouts, bike lanes, and sidewalks from Euclid to Country Club.

Tuesday's vote was to approve acquisition of property along the Broadway corridor. As Mayor Jonathan Rothschild noted during the meeting, this vote essentially means council approved the 30 percent design plans because once the city begins acquiring property, there is less they can change.

Councilman Steve Kozachik was the only person to vote "no" at the meeting. Councilwoman Regina Romero could not make the meeting.

For the five people who voted, there was a common theme of "it's time". Voters have approved the project twice since 1997. The city has spent millions of dollars and significant time to create the design and many on city council said going back to the drawing board would be a waste.

During the meeting, Beth Abramovitz, project manager, told council that the city would need to take 27 properties for the widening project, seven of them are part of historic preservation.

With Tuesday's vote, the city can begin acquiring the land for right-of-way.