/ Modified apr 1, 2015 7:44 a.m.

Pima County Breaks Ground to Give Raytheon Expansion Room

Project is first step in economic development opportunity for southern tier of Tucson.

Aerospace Parkway groundbreaking spotlight 033115 Elected officials from Tucson, Pima County and Arizona's congressional delegation scoop dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project to move Hughes Access Road a half-mile south of its location. The new road will be called Aerospace Parkway.
Andrea Kelly, AZPM


A host of government and business leaders broke ground Tuesday for a road project on Tucson's South Side, declaring that it is a big step toward economic opportunity for the area.

Aerospace Parkway will run five miles from Nogales Highway on the West to Alvernon Way on the east and give Raytheon Missile Systems a bigger buffer than it now has from urban development.

County leaders called the new road the first step in a multi-phase project that they think will help develop the local economy.

The $12.7 million project will allow Raytheon to relocate one building on its property and leave space for future expansion. It also will allow for other high-tech companies, including Raytheon suppliers, to locate along Aerospace Parkway.

Taylor Lawrence portrait Raytheon CEO Taylor Lawrence (PHOTO: Andrea Kelly, AZPM)

“The opening of an aerospace corridor that will connect I-10 and I-19 is significant not just for Raytheon, but for the enterprises we hope will come and establish themselves here,” said Raytheon President Taylor Lawrence.

The road creates room to the north for a second runway at Tucson International Airport, allowing for commercial air service expansion, and possibly help the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing.

“I think [the 162nd is] probably the best kept secret in Arizona," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "I think it’s the best kept secret because pilots from all over the world from countries that get the F-16 train right here.”

McCain was among a large group of politicians and business leaders participating in the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Aerospace Parkway project will be paid for with funds from the Regional Transportation Authority. Funding for the next phase, a two-lane road connecting Aerospace Parkway and Interstate 10 at Rita Road, is proposed as part of the next county bond election.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona