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Pantano Wash Linear Park-Craycroft to Tanque Verde


Project status:  Phase 3 construction completed February, 2018


As part of The Loop, the 1.39 miles Pantano Wash Bank Protection and River Park from Ft. Lowell Park to Tanque Verde Road connected and has completed the LOOP along the Pantano Wash park to the Rillito River park. 

The project includes paved and decomposed granite trails and soil cement bank protection on the west bank, and for the east bank the paved pathway and soil cement bank protection will extend from Tanque Verde Road and terminate at the Wilmot Road alignment.  The segment north of Ft. Lowell Park  was also constructed connecting the paved pathway.

Project Features

The Pantano Wash Bank Protection and River Park Project between Ft. Lowell Park and Tanque Verde Road consists of soil cement bank protection and paved pathways on both banks, a staging area, a pedestrian bridge, public art, a sitting area, and a grade control structure.  This project will include 1.3 miles of new soil cement bank protection to provide flood and erosion protection for the commercial business along Grant Road, and for apartment complexes, townhomes and private residents along the west bank. The existing bank protection along the east bank of the Pantano Wash will be extended 1300 linear feet downstream terminating where Wilmot Road alignment would theoretically intersect the east bank. The east side bank protection will protect five additional homes in the Tucson Country area immediately adjacent to the Pantano Wash.

The parking staging area is located on the west bank at the end of Glenn Street and Sahuara Avenue near Rose Hill Wash and includes a small paved parking area and equestrian parking with a ramp into the wash for maintenance and equestrian access. An arch steel truss bridge over Rose Hill Wash, display the project's public art which is designed to catch the light of the Arizona sun and reflect the blue of the sky and water. A viewing/ sitting area behind Costco allow users a place to briefly stop and view the wide expanse of the Pantano Wash and the majestic Catalina Mountains.

The proposed paved multi-use pedestrian/bicycle path is located on top of the soil cement bank protection immediately adjacent to the Pantano Wash on both banks. A decomposed granite shoulder is provided for most of the length of this project on the west bank. Where additional right-of-way is available the decomposed granite pathway is located away from the paved pathway, with a vegetative separation. 

A grade control structure adjacent to Costco at the end of Wilmot Road checks long term channel bed scour and maintain the channel invert for the upstream reach. Maintenance ramps will be provided at the grade control so that the Flood Control District can inspect and maintain the grade control and channel bed.

The segment north of Ft. Lowell Park has also been constructed, within a very limited right-of-way. Along the West bank from Ft. Lowell Park to Craycroft Road and allows a LOOP connection between the Rillito Creek and Pantano Wash.

Project Costs and Funding

The Pima County Flood Control District tax levy, which is a secondary property tax, will be the primary funding source for this project. Below is a table of anticipated costs:

Phase Item Cost
Project Development    
  Planning & Design $ 1,404,000
  Bank Protection & Pathway Construction $ 5,450,000
  Staging Area $ 156,000
  Right-of-way $ 553,000
  Public Art $ 100,000
  Construction Administration & Inspection $ 561,000

 Project Total

$ 8,224,000

Project Benefits

The benefits of this project provide flood protection along the developed west bank of the Pantano Wash, stabilize the channel bed, protect and promote riparian habitat in the existing flood prone areas and extend the existing river park pathways along the Pantano Wash by constructing bank protection and paved pathways. The resulting new multi-use pathways completes the LOOP around Tucson by connecting the Pantano Wash River Park with the Rillito River Park. This recreational loop provides for exercise and alternative transportation for the citizens of Tucson and Pima County. Preservation of the riparian habitat between Fort Lowell Park and Wilmot Road alignment allows bird watcher access into this special habitat. Equestrian users have a local rallying place to meet and ride up the Pantano Wash. Local residents are able to go to a local businesses and restaurant without getting into an automobile. This project provides flood and erosion protection for Grant Road and the businesses along Grant Road; and for the apartments, townhomes, and single family residents adjacent to the Pantano Wash in the developed area between Tanque Verde Road and Glenn Road.

Project Schedule


Start Date

Estimated Completion Date

Concept Report

October 16, 2012

November 2013

Open House

August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013

Udall Center from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Design & Permitting

December 2013

May 2016

18 months to complete design, and secure U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permit
Right-of-way Acquisition

March 2014

December 2015

Right-of-way must be secure before advertising for construction

September 2016

February 2018

Estimate 18 month to construct project phase

Maps and Details

Design Details

Floodplain Mapping

A Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) application has been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reflect the drainage improvements associated with the linear park and bank protection project. Each map below shows three representations of the floodplain; the “Existing FIRM Map”, a “Corrective Effective Map” and a “Revised Conditions Map”. 

The Existing Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Map reflects current FIRM map information generated in the mid 80’s and used a computer program that originated when computers used punch cards (not computer disks) to input data. 

The Corrective Effective Map image reflects how the floodplain and floodway would be mapped today without the proposed project improvements.   This map was necessary because since the 1980’s there have been changes in channel geometry for the Pantano Wash, improvements to floodplain computer modeling and changes in floodplain mapping standards.  The Corrective Effective Map provides a more accurate way of comparing pre- and post-project floodplain conditions.

The Revised Conditions Map represents the changes to the Corrective Effective Map associated with the new bank protection and linear park project. 

Please read the Pantano Wash Floodplain Revision Frequently Asked Questions brochure to get answers to common floodplain mapping questions.

Floodplain Comparison Overview Map


The following reports are available:

Outreach, Meetings and Events

Pantano Wash Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) Outreach

Dedication Ceremony:

September 17th, 2016 Dedication Ceremony - The Pantano Wash Bank Protection and River Park: Tanque Verde Road to Fort Lowell Park Project from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Please see the Dedication Ceremony Invitation for more information.

 Open Houses:

August 27, 2013 Public Open House - A public open house was held at the Morris Udall Center at 7200 N. Tanque Verde Road from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Please see the Public Open House Announcement for more information.

The District accepted public comments until September 30, 2013.  

On March 17, Pima County is throwing a party and we want you to join us. We’re celebrating the completion of The Loop, a 131-mile multi-use trail that spans the metropolitan area, allowing cyclists, pedestrians, joggers and equestrians an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful Sonoran Desert on paved, vehicle-free pathways.