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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tucson in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass

Constructed 1916 – Demolished in 2008

 
 
Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, June 2, 2010
1. Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass Marker
Inscription.  
Tucson City Engineer ― J. Mos Ruthrauff
Design Engineer ― L. R. Walker
Contractor ― Bent Brothers

In 1913, in an effort to separate pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles and wagons from trains, the City of Tucson embarked on a major grade separation project to have Fourth Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Downtown Tucson, travel beneath the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The original underpass consisted of two 12-foot-wide lanes and 6-foot-wide raised pedestrian walkways on each side. The underpass was approximately 257 feet long so that it could carry up to eleven railroad tracks. The structural system was cast-in-place reinforced concrete skewed slab spans supported on concrete walls and columns. The underpass featured a classical revival architectural treatment with recessed rectangular panels cast into the walls. A series of 3-foot-high concrete posts, connected with heavy chains served as railings to separate the sidewalks from travel lanes.

Before being demolished in 2007, the original underpass was recognized as Arizona's oldest urban grade separated roadway and it was listed on the
Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, June 2, 2010
2. Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass Marker
Marker is mounted on an original concrete support.
Click or scan to see
this page online
National Register of Historic Structures.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsNotable Places. A significant historical year for this entry is 1913.
 
Location. 32° 13.429′ N, 110° 57.945′ W. Marker is in Tucson, Arizona, in Pima County. Marker is at the intersection of North Fourth Avenue and East 9th Street, on the right when traveling south on North Fourth Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tucson AZ 85705, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fourth Avenue Underpass (here, next to this marker); Coronado Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Wyatt Earp Shot Frank Stilwell... (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Southern Pacific Railroad (about 500 feet away); Toole Avenue (about 500 feet away); Locomotive 1673 (about 500 feet away); Hotel Congress (about 700 feet away); Congress Street (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tucson.
 
Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass, circa 1917 image. Click for full size.
Arizona Historical Society Library & Archives/Tucson
3. Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass, circa 1917
Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass, circa 1920s image. Click for full size.
Arizona Historical Society Library & Archives/Tucson
4. Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass, circa 1920s
Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass, circa 1930s image. Click for full size.
Arizona Historical Society Library & Archives/Tucson
5. Historic Fourth Avenue Underpass, circa 1930s
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 4, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,354 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 4, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   3, 4, 5. submitted on August 14, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 13, 2021