Road Work at Rincon Mountain District
A formal grand re-opening for the loop road was held in October 2006.
The Cactus Forest Drive was originally built between 1937 and 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. This mostly one-way road has been essentially unchanged since it was constructed. This summer’s project, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, included a complete resurfacing of the roadway, improved drainage at wash crossings, paving and improved delineation of roadside parking areas. In addition, twelve new interpretive wayside exhibits, funded by the Western National Parks Association and the Friends of Saguaro National Park, have also been installed. A road guide is available to complement these exhibits. Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead remarked, “Visitors and Tucsonans alike can be proud of this project. The auto and bicycle touring experiences on Cactus Forest Drive have been greatly enhanced, providing improved opportunities to showcase the beauty and character of our Sonoran Desert. We appreciate the patience displayed by visitors during the summer’s road closure.”
The 1.9 million dollar construction project was designed to occur during the park’s lowest visitation period. Originally scheduled to conclude by September 30th, the project was extended to include repaving of the visitor center parking lot and entry road off Old Spanish Trail.