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  • Supervisors approve naming The Loop for County Administrator

    May 15, 2018 | Read More News
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    The Loop has a new name, following a 3-2 vote by the Pima County Board of Supervisors at the May 15 meeting to rename the 131-mile shared-use trail in honor of County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.

    The impetus to rebrand the shared-use path as “The Chuck Huckelberry Loop” came from the Parks and Recreation Commission, which approved the renaming at its April 13 meeting. The Loop spans the metropolitan area, enabling cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians to navigate on paved, vehicle-free pathways. The Loop Advisory Committee also voted in support of renaming The Loop for Huckelberry.

    “Mr. Huckelberry has poured his heart and soul into this project from day one,” Michael Lundin, chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said. “This honor is well-deserved and will be a lasting legacy to his hard work and dedication to this amazing community asset.”

    Lundin noted that Huckelberry’s history with The Loop dates back to the early 1980s when he served as director of the combined departments of Flood Control and Transportation. After Huckelberry became county administrator, County trails expert Steve Anderson and Sue Clark of the Pima Trails Association saw the potential of an urban loop around the metropolitan area and enlisted the support of avid cyclists like Bill Adamson, Norm Land and the late Roy Schoonover to make it happen.
    Chuck Huckelberry
    “We explained to Chuck that we thought there was a case to complete The Loop in a few years,” Adamson recalled. Huckelberry pulled together staff from around the county, said Adamson, who at age 80 recently rode the 54-mile completed Loop. “He really deserves (the naming honor) because he made the completion happen. A lot was being done, but it didn’t really accelerate until Chuck got involved.”

    Pima Trails’ Clark remembered discussions of using the bank protection along the Rillito Creek for recreational purposes back in 1983. 

    “It started with just the Rillito but Chuck's vision has made it what it is today - a very popular outdoor shared use recreation for walkers, bicyclists, runners, equestrians and other non-motorized users. As a member of The Loop Advisory Committee and Pima Trails Association, I think it is only fitting that this great project be named in his honor.”

    Fellow Commissioner Damion Alexander agrees that it was Huckelberry’s leadership that helped make The Loop a reality. 

    “There are limited funds available, but Mr. Huckelberry was able to use his vantage point to layer multiple projects together to make it all happen. As a result, we not only have one of the best recreational facilities in the nation, perhaps the world, we also have flood protection.”

    Alexander, an agent with Long Realty who often shows properties to clients on his bike, said he’s met many people who are vacationing and even moving to Tucson “because The Loop is that awesome. I tip my helmet to Mr. Huckelberry.”

    Jan Lesher, chief deputy assistant county administrator, says The Loop’s completion will stand as one of Huckelberry’s most lasting accomplishments in a nearly 25-year career as county administrator.

    “This is a project that touches on so many initiatives that are important to the County,” Lesher said. “The Loop has been a real economic driver, it brings tourists to our region, it helps all of us who walk or ride it to stay healthy. And for those who use it to get to work or run errands, it means that many fewer vehicles on the road, which improves our air quality. Talk about a win-win. And Chuck pushed it to the finish line.”

    Born out of the disastrous floods on 1983, The Loop began taking shape when Pima County taxpayers started investing their Pima County Regional Flood Control District dollars in building soil-cement banks along the metropolitan waterways to guard again future flooding. The County took the opportunity to build along those overbank areas a river park system that has become one of the most popular recreational facilities in the region.

    Today, The Loop is a system of paved, shared-use paths and short segments of buffered bike lanes connecting the Rillito, Santa Cruz, and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Road Greenways. It extends through unincorporated Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson, and South Tucson. The connections are the result of Pima County's cooperative partnerships with these jurisdictions.