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  • New Julian Wash pedestrian bridge will extend Loop’s Santa Cruz River Park

    Jun 29, 2018 | Read More News
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    File: Julian Wash Bridge installationThe contractor for the Pima County Regional Flood Control District has installed a new pedestrian bridge over the Julian Wash, just east of its confluence with the Santa Cruz River in the Paseo de las Iglesias area, paving the way for an important connection for users of the Chuck Huckelberry Loop.

    Hunter Construction and their subcontractor Marco Crane and Rigging Company used a pair of cranes to put the bridge deck in place June 27, an effort that required a great deal of coordination and cooperation. A time-lapse video of the operation is available online.

    Deirdre Brosnihan, P.E., the project manager said “the pedestrian bridge is part of the plan to connect the Loop on the east bank all the way from Silverlake Road south to under Ajo Way, so ultimately this section of the Santa Cruz River will fully connect on both the east and west banks.”

    Paving on the existing dirt maintenance road on south of the new pedestrian bridge will wait until the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) completes improvements to the bridge over the Santa Cruz at Ajo Way which includes an underpass on the east bank. ADOT plans to start that work this later summer.

    When the east bank underpass is completed, the pathway paved and some other minor improvements completed, the Loop will connect on the east bank of the Santa Cruz River all the way to Valencia Road as well as out east along the Julian Wash Greenway. In the meantime, Loop users have access to the southeast section down to the ADOT worksite.

    Connecting the southeast reach of the river park’s Paseo de las Iglesias section will allow visitors to see the habitat for a parliament of burrowing owls that were relocated onsite in April 2017 as part of a volunteer project the District coordinated with the non-profit raptor rescue group Wild at Heart, the Tucson Audubon Society and Tucson Electric Power. The owls are most active to view at dawn or dusk when they go out to hunt. Be aware: the owls are federally protected and the public should not disturb them or their burrow.