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Arcadia Drainage Improvement

This award-winning project consisted of placing pipes and filling in a section of an unsafe and unsightly drainage channel known as “The Old Crosscut Canal,” which had existed in the Arcadia area at 48th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix for several decades. This canal serves to transfer irrigation water and rainwater runoff. The purpose of the improvements is to mitigate flooding for properties within the Arcadia area watershed and reduce flooding along the Arizona canal's upstream side and beautification and safety. The project included the installation side-by-side of 372 feet of 120-inch concrete cast-in-place pipe and 691 feet of 102-inch precast pipe.  Also included was an outlet structure connecting the pipes to an existing underground box culvert in the Old Crosscut canal and a baffled stepped inlet structure approximately 100 feet long, angling from 25 to 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep to the Arizona Canal. This area had mature eucalyptus trees registered as historical, and other native trees and cactus required to be preserved during construction.  The project was designed and constructed around these trees. The 102-inch precast pipe crossed the Arizona Canal, which had to be drained during the process. Draining the canal could only be done during a specific time frame and short duration since it was the only water supply for a major water reclamation treatment plant in North Phoenix.  Several fish species live in the canal, which had to be captured and relocated during this process. The project was directly adjacent to Arcadia Drive on the west and a medical office building and funeral home on the east.  Across Arcadia Drive to the west are a retail shopping complex and office building. Constant communication and consideration had to be given to the surrounding community members, traveling public, and pedestrians. Generating a positive public perception within this neighborhood was very important to ensure a successful project.

City of Phoenix
March 2012
Delivery Method:
Design Engineer:
Olsson Associates
  • 102- and 120-inch pipes and a stub out pipe to the south bank
     of the Arizona Canal for a future drain pipe to the north
  • Asphalt paving
  • Catch basin with a connector pipe (new)
  • Concrete paving
  • Curb and gutter
  • Extension of the Old Crosscut drainage channel
  • Street and sidewalk improvements to 48th Street
  • Sidewalk and driveways
  • Street light poles
  • Trenching for underground street light circuits
Arcadia 1
Arcadia 2


Engineering News Record

ENR SWE Project 2011, Award of Merit-Best
Civil Works/Infrastructure Project