The Catalina Foothills can expect a major closure along Skyline Drive from Columbus Blvd. to Pontatoc Road. There are three detours drivers can take to go around the closure.
Detour 1: Take Skyline Dr. to Sunset Dr. to Swan Rd. (7 minutes)
Detour 2: Take Alvernon Way to Coronado Dr. to Swan Rd. (8 minutes)
Detour 3: Take Columbus Blvd. to Havasu Rd., then turn onto Catalina Ave. onto Pontatoc Rd. (5 minutes)
Residents would like to remind drivers people frequently walk along the third route and they would prefer having less traffic. Other than that, residents were optimistic about what the construction has to bring to the neighborhood.
Bobby Karnezes lives in the home across from the construction site and remembered seeing the area flood into the road last monsoon.
The amount of rain that came down I would say about thirty minutes later you just heard a roar, I mean you could hear it inside the house. So when I came out I was just curious, and you could see the trees, logs, everything, said Karnezes.
What Bobby saw is what brought Pima County to have to buy out homes because of the damage left from floods.
Eight homes were evacuated, including a nursing home this previous summer and those owners who wish to be bought, the county is pursuing buying those properties, said Greg Saxe with the countys Regional Flood Control District.
Those homes will be restored to the natural landscape to allow water to flow through. The construction starting today is also aimed at improving the flow of water. The county started this project after the Bighorn Fire in 2020.
Its going to allow the flood waters coming off the Bighorn Fire scar in the Catalina Mountains rather than overtopping the road and causing potential failure, said Saxe.
The goal is to complete construction by July 2023. Bobby Karnezes said he was well aware of what was coming and appreciates what the county is doing.
Were notified, just like anything else its going to be a little hassle to get around, but just like anything else we get done, well get through it, he said.
The construction schedule is only subject to change in the event of a mechanical failure or inclement weather.