TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The city of Tucson unveiled their 30% design plan for the Broadway Boulevard widening project. Dozens of people showed up for the project's open house tonight. The meeting allowed transportation officials to display their latest designs and answer questions.
The city's plan to expand Broadway Boulevard from Country Club to Euclid is set to add more lanes in hopes of improving east and westbound traffic.For the first time Tuesday night, the public got to see some of the latest developments.
"The 30% design is really the first time we have a lot of the hard engineering done," said Transportation Project Manager, Beth Abramovitz. "Taking that two dimensional plan and making it three dimensions and seeing how everything works and where it all lays out. This is the first time that we're showing it to the public. This is the design that can actually be built."
But, it's a hot topic for some local business owners who say widening lanes is taking away part of their property.
"The plaza across the street is only going to have eight parking spaces for 13 buildings," said Monica Haycook who owns Deco: An Illuminating Experience on Broadway and Tucson Boulevard. "So they'll probably have to leave and those buildings will be torn down."
The $2.1 billion project is set expand the roadway to six lanes. It was approved by voters in 200, but some say it does more harm than good.
"It's a big problem for these stores," said Margot Garcia with the Broadway Coalition. "Where are the people going to park. How are they even going to get public access? This is one of the difficulties with this kind of roadway design."
A former member of the Citizen's Task Force says the city has taken those concerns into consideration and has actually made improvements.
"The original plan that was adopted 20 years ago for this project, would have taken everything on the north side of the street," said Dale Calvert. "The current plan basically tries to minimize the impact, but the reality is when you widen a roadway you're going to take people's parking."
Construction for the project is expected to begin in 2018.
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