A key element for revitalizing a downtown is access. Reconstructing the historic 4th Avenue Underpass was one of the first steps in the City of Tucson’s efforts to reinvigorate the downtown. The underpass, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, connects the downtown Tucson area with the shops and residents in the 4th Avenue commercial district under the Union Pacific Railroad. The original structure was built in 1916 as the northernmost connection to downtown.
The city knew the project would be full of challenges, and that they needed to provide a high quality solution that minimized disruption and could be delivered cost effectively. That’s why it named Sundt as the Construction Manager at Risk. The project included demolition and reconstruction of the underpass; installation of 3,500 track feet of streetcar rail; construction of a shoofly to detour the Union Pacific Railroad during construction; extensive utility relocations including potable water, sanitary sewer and stormwater; converting overhead power to underground; and reconstruction of 4th Avenue, 5th Avenue, Congress Street and Broadway Boulevard. Aesthetic enhancements included decorative concrete sidewalks, pedestrian plazas, retaining walls, steel pedestrian bridges, and public art features including a multi-level fountain and pedestals for sculptures and landscaping.
Phasing of the project was carefully planned by working closely with the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. The team managed a very invasive project in a manner that minimized disruption to the surrounding merchants and neighborhoods.
City of Tucson
4th Avenue Underpass