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El Vado Wash Drainage Improvements

Study status:  Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) under review by FEMA, Design in progress, Anticipated final construction documents Summer 2020.


This project is the first of the drainage infrastructure improvements recommended by the Airport Wash South Basin Management Study (AWBMS). In cooperation with the City of Tucson (COT), Pima County Regional Flood Control District (PCRFCD) is working to construct a culvert beneath Calle Santa Clara north of the New Hope United Methodist Church. The culvert will outlet into a detention basin constructed in the open space adjacent to the church. The basin will outlet via a storm drain to be constructed beneath Calle Sevilla and a weir to a reconstructed, inverted crown Calle Medina.

This is the first phase of drainage improvements within the watershed that will ultimately remap the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplains within the El Vado Wash Watershed.

For more information contact:
Janice Hughes, PE, Civil Engineer
(520) 724-4600

Scope of Work

The first part of this project will be to submit to FEMA the Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling completed with the AWBMS. This revised information will set the design discharges for this and future phases of construction.

The second part of this project is the completion of design plans for the proposed improvements. The AWBMS recommended a culvert at Calle Santa Clara (EV7) to inlet into the detention basin. The Basin will be approximately 6 feet deep outletting to the north as open channel flow along a reconstructed Calle Medina and to the west through a new storm drain beneath Calle Sevilla. Both will take flow to the existing I-19 culvert and through to the Santa Cruz.

The third part of the project will be the construction of the proposed improvements, expected to commence in FY 2020/21.


A public meeting discussing this and the other recommended projects from the AWBMS was held at the Desert Diamond Casino on June 25, 2014. Additional mailings and outreach will be forthcoming as the project progresses. 

If you have any questions about the project please contact Janice Hughes, PE, Project Engineer, Pima County RFCD at 724-4600 or Janice.hughes@pima.gov.
August 23, 2005 - Photos by Eric Griffin