Fourth Avenue Underpass Project

City of Tucson, Fourth Avenue Underpass Project. Project started 1997; construction completed 2009.

Client Program / Project Description. The construction of a new underpass replaces Arizona’s oldest urban grade-separated roadway-railroad intersection.  This new connection to downtown Tucson’s eastside entertainment district from historic Fourth Avenue provides streetscape improvements, pedestrian and bicycle linkages, pocket parks, parking and retail, improved safety as well as a “gateway” to downtown.  The new underpass accommodates the modern streetcar, widened ADA pedestrian walkways on both sides of the underpass, public art, and separate bicycle lanes.

A primary focus is the design of safety conscious and universally accessible walkways and pockets parks to support and promote surrounding neighborhoods and commercial districts.  Collaboration and coordination with the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, downtown stakeholders and public artists were at the heart of the effort.

WSA Scope and Role. WSA provided landscape architecture and urban design services including hardscape and planting plans, and public art coordination.  This required detailed collaboration with civil and structural engineers and much negotiation with the Citizens Advisory Committee and the public.

Project Team.

  • Owner: City of Tucson
  • Client: TranSystems
  • Design Team:
    • TranSystems, lead, bridge design, project management
    • Wheat Scharf Associates, landscape and hardscape design, public art coordination
    • Carl Kominsky Landscape Architect, Inc., irrigation design
    • HDR, streetcar, drainage, traffic planning
    • RA Alcala and Associates, electrical engineering
    • Design Build Collaborative, architectural services
    • Poster Frost Mirto, architectural services
    • Aleks Istanbullu Architects, design consultant
    • Rob Paulus Architect, design consultant
    • Melody Peters, public artist
    • Kevin Osborn, public artist and design consultant
    • Darren Clark and Gary Patch, Tucson Portrait Project
    • Kaneen Advertising & Public Relations Inc., public involvement

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