Project Details

Agua Fria River Channelization and Levees

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Project Contact: Charlie Klenner
Region: W
District: 4 - Clint L. Hickman 5 - Steve Gallardo
Description:

To mitigate historical flooding and as part of the Phoenix, Arizona and Vicinity (including New River) plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, channel improvements were implemented to the Agua Fria River from the New River confluence to two miles south of the Buckeye Road bridge. The project consists of an excavated earth channel, approximately 7.5 miles in length, and a series of levees that provide Standard Project Flood (SPF) protection. This agreement was the impetus for many of the following Agua Fria improvement projects. [IGA FCD77001, also known as the 221 Agreement (Public Law 91-611)]

Under this agreement, the first phase of channelization, from Thomas Road to Interstate 10 (Reach 2) was completed by the District in 1982; the second, from upstream of Indian School Road to Thomas Road (Reach 1) was completed by the District in 1986; the third, from Interstate 10 to Buckeye Road (Reach 3) was completed by the District in 1988; and the fourth, from Buckeye Road to Broadway Road (Reach 4) was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1989.

Reaches 1 and 2 involved a partnership between the District and the Maricopa County Highway Department (County). The District was the construction lead for the project which included implementation of channel improvements as well as the construction of pier protection and two transverse dikes at the Indian School Road Bridge. In accordance with the IGA, the District and the County were cost share partners. The District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all flood control components and the County is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Indian School Road Bridge protection. (IGA FCD83014, IGA FCD83014A)

Reach 3 involved a District-County partnership as well. The County was designing a bridge for the Van Buren Street crossing of the Agua Fria River at the same time as the channel improvements were being designed. By slightly realigning the channel, a considerable cost savings was recognized for the bridge construction. In accordance with the IGA, the District was the design and construction lead for the channel improvements as well as a cost share partner with the County. The District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the flood control elements in the project. (IGA FCD85002, IGA FCD86009)

Reach 3 additionally necessitated the relocation of the Avondale Landfill previously located near the Buckeye Road Bridge. The Maricopa County Landfill Department was the owner of the landfill and is responsible for the maintenance of the relocated landfill. In addition to the landfill relocation, the City of Avondale desired to use the former location as a recreational facility. In accordance with the IGA, Avondale and the District were cost share partners and the District was the construction lead for the project. The City of Avondale is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the recreational facility located on the closed landfill site. (IGA FCD84-481284, IGA FCD86002)

The transverse dikes constructed under Reach 1 link to New River channelization through the Camelback Ranch Levees project. The District constructed a levee along the east bank of the Agua Fria River from the northernmost transverse dike to Camelback Road in 1998. The District constructed the second phase of the Agua Fria River/New River east bank levee, from Camelback Road to Bethany Home Road, in conjunction with a north/west bank levee on the New River requested by the City of Glendale for the protection of its airport and wastewater treatment plant. The City of Glendale funded the full cost of the north/west bank levee and additional channelization required; the District funded the full cost of the east bank levee. Glendale’s funding under the agreement was provided by a federal grant. (IGA FCD97008, IGA FCD98031)

As part of the Agua Fria channel improvements several supplemental projects were implemented.

The first was the replacement of the Roosevelt Irrigation District’s (RID) flume across the river. The existing flume was replaced by a new lined canal and inverted siphon system which improved the hydraulic characteristics of both the irrigation system and the channel itself. The District was the construction lead per the IGA and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the food control structures which are across the RID right-of-way. The RID is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the siphon, canal and the related structures. (IGA FCD85004)

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) was planning a drainage pipe outfall along Thomas Road from the Outer Loop Freeway (SR-101L) to the Agua Fria River during the District’s channelization project. The two projects were constructed in conjunction under a partnership between the District and ADOT. In accordance with the IGA, the District was the construction lead and was a cost share partner with ADOT. As long as the Outer Loop is part of the state highway system, ADOT is responsible for the maintenance to the outfall structures and grating. (IGA FCD87024)

As part of the Agua Fria channelization project and to increase flood protection, a channel was constructed along the north side of Indian School Road from 107th Avenue to the Agua Fria River. The concrete lined channel intercepts 150 cfs and provides 100-year flood protection to the area south of Indian School Road. The project also included a connection for agricultural drainage for the Salt River Project (SRP) to replace a previously existing drainage ditch that was removed for the project. The District was the construction lead for the project and while the Maricopa County Highway Department and SRP were project partners, there was no cost share agreement. In accordance with the IGA, the District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the channel until such time that the Maricopa County Highway Department transfers ownership of the road and its rights-of-way to another jurisdiction. (IGA FCD87031, IGA FCD87045)

Located south of Buckeye Road and the Agua Fria channelization project are two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) levees. The City of Avondale desired to have reinforced concrete pipes located beneath the levees in anticipation of future expansion of their water and sewer lines. As the local sponsor to the USACE project, the District coordinated the installation of the pipes and was the construction lead. In accordance with the IGA, Avondale reimbursed the project costs to the District and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the reinforced concrete pipes and the sewer and water lines; the District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the levee system. (IGA FCD87036)

In anticipation of a planned multi-use trail system, the District provided the City of Avondale with an easement for recreational uses along sections of the Agua Fria River between the Gila River and Indian School Road. In accordance with the IGA, the District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the easement for flood control purposes and for the removal of sediment and debris that enters the easement due to a major flooding event. The City of Avondale is responsible for: the removal of graffiti, trash, and debris from the easement area, maintaining, repairing and replacing the project facilities within the easement area, correcting any damage to the flood control features caused by the agreed-upon recreational uses and facilities of the project, and maintaining the aesthetic and landscaping features of the project. (IGA FCD2001A009)

In conjunction with trail construction, the City of Avondale requested District participation in an effort to install safety handrailing along the Agua Fria levees between Buckeye Road and McDowell Road. Handrail provides safety benefits to District operations and maintenance personnel in addition to the benefits to the City in facilitating the trail atop the levees. Per the IGA, the City will act as lead agency for the rail installation, and will operate and maintain the installed railing. (IGA FCD2008A009)

Status:

The project is generally complete. With District funding participation, the City of Avondale anticipates installing pipe rail atop the Agua Fria levees between Buckeye Rd. and McDowell Rd. at a future date.



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