The historic warehouse district along the northwestern edge of downtown Tucson is the focus of the final phase of construction that will make the Barraza-Aviation Parkway accessible from Broadway and the 4th Avenue shopping district.

In 1989, the city of Tucson took over control of the project, which had previously been overseen by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The original plan called for extending the Barraza-Aviation Parkway as a highway that would cut through downtown, requiring demolition of most old warehouses in the area, many of which have been used as gallery and artist studio space since the early 1980s.

An alternative became available with the approval of the current Downtown Links Project. Its goal is the creation of a four-lane roadway with enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access, which will connect both North 4th Avenue and Downtown Tucson to the Aviation Parkway.

Streets affected by the plan include Broadway, Congress Street, Toole Avenue, St. Mary’s Road and 22nd Street.

This in-studio conversation explores the development of the Downtown Links Project, and the implications that this impending construction will have for the artists living and working in the Historic Warehouse District as represented by the Warehouse Arts Management Organization (WAMO), and for the community at large.