The Tohono O’odham Nation has awarded a nearly $41,000 grant to the Town of Sahuarita to pay for the engineering design of a proposed 1.1-mile trail to connect Rancho Sahuarita to the tribe’s Desert Diamond Casino.

The town has a proposal from Psomas – an engineering consultant – to develop a preliminary design, according to Beth Abramovitz, public works director. She said the initial idea is to use existing right-of-way land adjacent to East Pima Mine Road to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists heading to the casino.

Abramovitz said consultants are expected to analyze which side of the road would work best to access the casino, as well as how to build around existing utilities. The asphalt surface path is envisioned as 8-to-12-feet wide.

Consultants are expected to submit a plan in late spring, which will include a construction estimate, said Abraomovitz. Depending on what the final numbers look like, the town can decide to move forward with a capital project. Sahaurita might also explore looking for additional grant funding from the Tohono.

She said the town has received over $85,000 from the tribe, which is adjacent to Sahuarita, to fund other public works projects in the area, including traffic signals at the Pima Mine and Rancho Sahuarita Boulevard intersection.

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