Olsson Associates


A plan whose time has come

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sarah Ferdico, Communications

Even back in the 1960s, the Arizona Canal in Scottsdale, Arizona, was deemed an ideal location for a recreation path. In its 1966 Scottsdale General Plan, the city said the area possessed “features that can be utilized in many novel ways to improve the general appearance of the city.”

After several plan recommendations over the years, the city took action and selected Olsson Associates in late 2013 to provide master planning and design services for the Arizona Canal Shared-Use Pathway from Chaparral Road to Indian Bend Road.

“The area itself is the city’s worst-hidden ‘gem,’” said Sean Wozny, Olsson’s project manager for the project. “Because of its known potential for recreation and access to other city destinations, it’s been a target for improvement for many years. We’re very excited to finally make this trail a reality.”

This two-mile, shared-use pathway segment completes the city’s 14-mile portion of the Sun Circle Trail, which provides a network of trails along the 68 miles of canal throughout Maricopa County. This pathway segment also ties into the City of Scottsdale’s 25-mile paved pathway system located throughout the Indian Bend Wash pathway system.

The project is using both the City of Scottsdale’s funding and federal funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) project process. The project involves several key project stakeholders, including the City of Scottsdale, the Federal Highway Administration, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Salt River Project, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, as well as several Scottsdale neighborhoods.

Regional destinations accessible from this network of pathways include Papago Park, which is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens. Connections to the Cross Cut Canal trail provide access to Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park located within the Downtown Tempe Mill Avenue District. Local area destinations within the Arizona Canal Pathway include the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt Recreation Corridor, which is home to world-class golf courses, an extensive network of multi-use pathways, and several City of Scottsdale parks.

The project area is lined with residential neighborhoods. A key element during the master planning process was the placement of these neighborhood connections to provide access to the proposed pathway. Olsson participated in multiple public meetings with the City of Scottsdale to gather and incorporate feedback from neighbors. Olsson is providing master planning, public involvement, landscape architecture, survey, and civil and structural engineering.

As the master planning phase of the project is wrapping up, Olsson is now starting the construction design phase. The design will include designing the path itself, developing a drainage design with the canal, providing landscape architecture, and developing a structural design for pedestrian bridges over the canal. Construction for the trail is scheduled to begin March 2015.

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