Tuesday, January 15, 2013

There's A Wall In Our Future


There is a wall that is south of Tangerine on Oracle Road. It is just south of the Oro Valley Marketplace. It was built when Oracle Road was widened.  You can't  miss it.  The wall "protects" the residents of Ram's Canyon from noise.  This wall is west of the residents of Ram's Canyon so it has no impact on their views.  It does, however, kill the views of those traveling north on Oracle Road.

This wall is a blight.  It is huge.  It is hideous.  It is so hideous in fact that it is possibly even more hideous than the power lines TEP wants to construct on Oracle Road!  This wall is what the residents of Rams Canyon wanted.  It is most certainly not what the rest of us would've preferred.

When the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) decided to widen Oracle Road to three lanes north of Tangerine, the affected residents of Rancho Vistoso got involved in deciding the type of sound area that would be put on Oracle Road to protect them.  Unlike the Rams Canyon wall, this new wall will be on the west side of Oracle Road.  So, it could significantly block the views of the mountains of the residents of Rancho Vistoso.

Click To Enlarge
The Town of Oro Valley also became involved.  Working with the residents and ADOT, Town staff identified a block structure that has transparent panels (pictured right).  These transparent panels are experimental.  Hopefully they will work and other communities will enjoy the benefit also.

Item E of the consent agenda of tomorrow's Oro Valley Town Council  Meeting is an intergovernmental agreement between the town and ADOT.  The agreement is for the town to pay $3,000 to ADOT.  This covers the added cost of the transparent panels as opposed to concrete.   The agreement obligates the town to maintain the transparent panels in perpetuity.  According to the town, maintenance costs should be minimal.

So, there is a wall in our future.  Hopefully, this wall will be much more agreeable not only to the residents of Rancho Vistoso but also to those who want the scenic beauty of our community maintained.

1 comment:

Victorian Cowgirl said...

The sample pictures show large clear panels with columns in between each one. But apparently the panels that will be used on Oracle Road will be SMALLER panels with NO columns.

Did I read that correctly?