How is this project being funded?

The Downtown Links project is part of the 20-year RTA plan approved by voters in 2006. It includes $76.1 million RTA funding and $8.5 million regional HURF dollars.

What are the project limits?

A 1.3-mile long multi-modal roadway corridor linking I-10 and Broadway, next to the Union Pacific Railroad. The project scope was divided into three phases:

  • Phase I, 8th Street Drainage from 6th Avenue to 3rd Avenue, consisted of major drainage improvements to the existing Tucson Arroyo to remove parts of downtown and area neighborhoods from the 100-year flood plain. This $7.4 million phase was completed in May 2012.
  • Phase II, the reconstruction of St. Mary’s Road from Interstate 10 to Church Avenue. In addition to overall road improvements, this phase installed southern Arizona’s first protected bike lanes with flexible delineators, along with other bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancements, and incorporated passive rainwater harvesting and adaptive desert landscaping. This $7.3 million phase was completed in April 2014.
  • Phase III, 6th Street/Links Avenue from Church Avenue to Broadway Boulevard, currently in design, is the most complex phase. It includes reconstruction of the Tucson Arroyo culvert from 6th Avenue to 10th Avenue; construction of a new 6th Street Alignment, railroad underpass, and 9th Avenue Deck Plaza; and construction of the new four-lane Links roadway, 6th Avenue Bridge, and a shared-use pathway from 6th Street to Broadway Boulevard.

How long will construction take?

Construction of Phase 3 of the Downtown Links project is currently scheduled to be completed in 30-months. You can learn more specific construction detour and traffic restriction information by signing up on the project website and clicking the “Contact Us” button, or by emailing There will also be a Construction Kick-Off virtual meeting prior to construction beginning. Details about the initial construction schedule and activities will be provided then. Invitations for the virtual meeting will be sent electronically and posted to the website.

What are the benefits of the project?

  • Four vehicular lanes with medians and turn lanes
  • On-street bike lanes, sidewalks, and a separate multi-use path
  • Major drainage improvements: New Tucson Arroyo culvert
  • 6th Street Underpass at the Union Pacific Railroad
  • Rail crossing upgrades to establish Quiet Zone eligibility
  • Maclovio Barraza Parkway bridge over 6th Avenue
  • 9th Avenue deck plaza with public space, landscaping and art
  • Native desert landscaping and passive water harvesting
  • Public art (6+ artists selected for this project)

Will drainage improvements remove my property from the FEMA Floodplain?

Phase 1 of the Downtown Links Corridor Project, the 8th Street Drainage Improvement Project, consisted of building a 20’ X 12’ underground drainage system that connected to the Tucson Arroyo/High School Wash drainage facility on its east end. Drainage improvements during Phase 3 of the Downtown Links project will tie-in to the west end of that project, thus completing the improvements for the Arroyo Chico watershed. The new drainage facility will improve historical flooding problems in this area and may allow properties in the area to be removed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain.

Will improvements allow the trains to quit blowing their whistles?

Improvement to the at-grade railroad crossings at Main Avenue, Fifth Street, Sixth Street/Seventh Avenue and Seventh Avenue will provide eligibility to apply for the No Regular Use of the Train Horn Zone – commonly referred to as a “Quiet Zone”.

How will neighborhood “cut-through” traffic be handled?

The City and its team will place Road Closed Local Traffic Only signs at neighborhood access points. Cut-through activity will be monitored throughout construction. Area residents are encouraged to contact project team members if problematic conditions arise.

What will the speed limit be along the corridor after construction is complete?

The posted speed limit will be 35 MPH.

Will there be artwork included in the project?

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly -Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC)) established an artist selection panel and collaborated with Citizens Advisory Committee members and community artists to provide feedback on public art concepts. Six artists were chosen for this project through the public art process. The public art installations will be placed toward the end of the project.

Are there bike and pedestrian improvements included in the project?

There are on-street bike lanes, sidewalks and a separate multi-use path throughout the project corridor.

What will be done to help my business survive during the construction project?

The Regional Transportation Authority funds MainStreet Business Assistance, a small-business assistance program. Funding for the program was approved as part of the RTA plan in May 2006. The $2.1 billion, 20-year plan included $10 million for small business assistance to help businesses affected by road improvement projects in the RTA plan. MainStreet Business Assistance helps businesses during transportation projects by providing information, facilitating communication and offering individual and group business consulting services. The contact information for MainStreet Business Assistance is below.

Britton Dornquast
MainStreet Business Assistance Program Manager
1 E. Broadway Boulevard, Suite 401, Tucson, AZ 85704
Phone: (520) 838-4352, Fax: (520) 620-6981

How will I be notified during construction?

To receive project updates, please enter your email address in the “Contact Us” page on the project website

For additional project related information, please contact Kathy or Joan at 520.622.9000 or email

Last Updated July 2020