Saturday, July 16, 2011

Remarks by Vice Mayor Fimbres - Cushing Street Bridge Groundbreaking

What follows are the remarks delivered by Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres, at the groundbreaking of the Cushing Street Bridge construction project.

To my fellow elected officials, guests and everyone here today, I welcome you all to the first step, the first groundbreaking, the first day towards the beginning of Tucson’s Modern Streetcar.

The 320-foot-long bridge will include one travel lane in each direction, Modern Streetcar tracks in each travel lane, two bicycle lanes, shaded pedestrian walkways and public art.  

This project spanning from the U of A, across the Santa Cruz to the base of “A” Mountain and Sentinel Peak, where the first settlement, then known as Chuk-Shon, had been formed by the Tohono O’odham Nation.  

In 1692, Father Kino passed through the Tucson area where he found a bustling community nestled along the Santa Cruz river.

The Cushing Street bridge will evoke Tucson’s past while going forward into the future with our streetcar.  This project will commemorate the Native American communities, the Latino community, and all other communities, who helped to make Tucson, through art and history.

The innovative project is a vital link in the 3.9 mile modern streetcar project that will connect riders from the University of Arizona, through downtown to Tucson’s west side, which is Tucson’s historic birthplace and the current focus of redevelopment activity and investment.

This bridge will be designed and constructed by Tucsonans, meaning the monies for this project will stay in Tucson.

This bridge was designed by Structural Grace, bridge engineering firm located in Tucson.  A team of talented individuals came up with the idea and concept for the bridge, 

This new bridge, will be constructed by a local company, the Ashton Company - which is located in my Ward, Ward 5, and will be employing 97 local people to construct this new pathway for cars, bike, pedestrians and most importantly, the modern streetcar.

The Ashton Company, inc., contractors and engineers, was founded by Harold Ashton, a son of Armenian immigrants, who came to America in search of opportunity and a determination to succeed. He was raised in that spirit and believed anything was possible. His philosophy was "never quit, strive until you succeed.”

Harold Ashton’s philosophy has worked on this project and in twelve months, Tucson will have success in the development of Tucson’s Modern Streetcar when the ribbon cutting for the Cushing Street Bridge will happen.

To all those involved in the development and construction of this project for Tucson, my heartfelt thanks go out to you.

To my fellow elected officials and representatives, thank you for your support of Tucson with your presence today.

To all here present, thank you for taking the time to be here today as a bridge our future.

Thank you all again and now let’s get to work!