NewsNet 06-24-14

HOUGHTON ROAD PROJECT FINISHES ON TIME AND UNDER BUDGET - Construction on Houghton Road, from Irvington to Valencia, is complete. An official ribbon cutting was held this morning to mark completion of the project, which began in October 2012. It was budgeted at approximately $25 million and finished at a cost of roughly $21 million. The improvements are a six lane divided roadway, rubberized asphalt for noise reduction, upgraded drainage, and multi-use paths. There also are new traffic signals, signs, new dual left turn lanes and exclusive right turn lanes, and bus pullouts. The project was funded by the City of Tucson, the RTA and Pima County. Read more from Tucson News Now.

SUN LINK STREETCAR PRE-REVENUE SERVICE TESTING UNDERWAY - The public launch of the Streetcar is only a month away, and Sun Link is now testing the vehicles as if there were passengers on board. The testing will run during scheduled service hours, and the streetcars will travel the entire route and stop at random passenger stops for the next 30 days. Sun Link passenger service is set to begin July 25th with a kickoff celebration downtown. Rides will be free to the public for the first three days of operation.

FORECLOSURES DROP IN ARIZONA - The number of residential foreclosures and short sales continues to drop in Arizona. In May, 19.6 percent of homes sold in Tucson were in those categories, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate data company. Last year, that figure was 29.3 percent. The city ranks 24th in the country for the highest percentage of distressed home sales. A year ago, Tucson ranked 10th. Statewide, 21.4 percent of all homes sold in May were distressed, the third highest percentage among states. That number dropped from 24.4 percent last year. Read more from Arizona Public Media.

ADOT NOW RECYCLING AT SELECT HIGHWAY REST STOPS - The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is implementing a new recycling program at three rest areas along the state's highways. A news release says the program will cost nothing for ADOT to implement, since recycling vendors will be overseen by Infrastructure Corporation of America (ICA), the company in charge of operation and maintenance of the rest areas. ICA is a public-private partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation. Currently there are three rest stops participating in the new recycling program: McGuireville near I-17, Hassayampa near U.S. 60, and Ehrenberg along I-10 near the California border. There are plans are to expand the program to include all rest stops in Arizona. Read more from Tucson News Now.

HOW TO MANAGE HARD WATER AND OTHER TIPS FROM TUCSON WATER - Get tips on how to manage hard water, increase dishwasher efficiency, flush your water heater, check faucet aerators and more. Information is available in English and Spanish. You can download, print, or request a mailed copy of the tips. You can also learn how to pay your water bill online and stop and start service. Read more from Tucson Water.