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  • El Corazón project to provide Santa Cruz bank protection, link Loop river parks

    Dec 14, 2018 | Read More News
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    File: soil cement constructionWork began the week of Dec. 10 on El Corazón — a flood control project intended to add bank protection and river park connections on the Santa Cruz River between the Cañada del Oro (CDO) Wash and the Rillito River.

    The project calls for nearly two miles of new soil cement bank protection along the western edge of the Orange Grove Road sand and gravel quarry used by the CalPortland Company, along with new pedestrian bridges over the Rillito River and CDO Wash, which will make transitions easier between the river parks and move a portion of the Chuck Huckelberry Loop off of the Interstate 10 frontage road. Loop users will experience temporary, intermittent delays for the duration of the project, expected to last until about July 2019. 

    “Protecting the Orange Grove Road quarry will limit the possibility of heavy flooding undercutting the existing earthen bank and posing a threat to I-10,” Flood Control Civil Engineering Manager John Spiker said. “We’re also very pleased about re-routing the Loop off of the interstate and onto the flowing section of the Santa Cruz. It’s far safer for Loop users and far more scenic.”

    The Ashton Company will begin the major work in early January 2019, starting with erecting a temporary soil cement plant near the project site.

    Pima County purchased the quarry in 2012 with the agreement that CalPortland will continue operations through 2024 at which point the District plans to begin reclaiming the site and make it useful as open space or for future development.