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  • Regional Flood Control District begins Santa Cruz sediment removal project

    Apr 20, 2018 | Read More News
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    Map of project areaThe Pima County Regional Flood Control District on Monday, April 23, will begin removing approximately 90,000 cubic yards of sediment from the bed of the Santa Cruz River channel between Grant Road and Speedway Boulevard. The process could take up to two months. Work will take place Monday through Friday from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
    The project seeks to prepare that stretch of the Santa Cruz ahead of potential Monsoon flooding. A buildup of sand from previous floods has lowered the capacity of the wash to handle storm runoff.
    “As the largest watercourse in the Tucson Valley, the Santa Cruz needs to be prepared to handle significant amounts of stormwater and debris,” said project manager Colby Fryar. “We need to make sure there’s enough capacity in the riverbed to handle the really big, even historic, floods that can occur.

    Crews will preserve stands of desirable vegetation while removing invasive species and other plant life that could contribute to flooding or hamper Flood Control’s response. County-contracted herpetologists this week will scour the area and hope to relocate dozens of lizards and other reptiles.

    Sediment removed from the bottom of the channel will be transported to an eroded section of riverbank north of Grant Road and used to create a nature park with water harvesting features, native plants and pathways. Up to 350 trucks per day will enter and exit the Santa Cruz near Juhan Park, 1770 W. Copper St., requiring a closure of The Loop multi-use path at that spot for the duration of the project. The path will open on the weekends.

    For more information, contact the RFCD by phone at 520-724-4600 or online.