Getting water off the roadways and underground

More drains installed to prevent storm runoff
Stone Ave underpass
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 18:31:08-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — In preparation for monsoon, the Downtown Links Project is in its third and final stage: building a new roadway and adding infrastructure improvements, such as underground storm drains.

“All of our capital improvement projects, which mainly are Regional Transportation Authority improvement projects, we improve all the underground storm drains systems, as well as all brand new utilities - new water lines and sewer lines and so forth,” said Mike Graham, the public information officer for the City of Tucson department of transportation and mobility (DTM).

Almost all of the improvement projects DTM has done over the last two years has worked to get the water off the roadway and under it instead.


“It becomes a public safety hazard. So what little rain that we have had, the underground storm drain systems have been effective. The key is, again, public safety. Getting the water underground as opposed to being on top of the roadway,” said Graham.

A major sight to see during a heavy monsoon storm - the stone avenue underpass flooded with water.

“Many people that have lived in Tucson for a long time know what happened at the Stone Avenue underpass and how that floods. We’ve had vehicles stuck in there,” said Graham.

Graham says this Downtown Links project will eliminate that.

Infrastructure and public safety get improved but these projects also help residents in other ways.

“It takes people out of the 100-year flood plain, so they save on insurance. So there are a lot of positives when it comes to our capital improvement projects,” said Graham.

The Downtown Links project is a part of the 2006 voter-approved Regional Authority Plan and is set to be completed in early 2023.