Preserving Santa Cruz River Heritage

Tucson Water, a department of the City of Tucson, Arizona, temporarily reduced the flow of the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project earlier this week, and now the Pima County Regional Flood Control District can remove sediment from the river channel that has accumulated over the last 30 years, Tucson Water informs. 

Beginning the week of April 27, the District will remove approximately 85,000 cubic yards of sediment from the river between Silverlake Road and Cushing Street to reduce flood risk in the area. The sediment removal project could take up to three months.

The goal of the Flood Control District’s project is to increase the capacity of this stretch of the Santa Cruz River to carry runoff during powerful storms.

The accumulated sediment has significantly reduced the carrying capacity of the river, with over 10 feet of sediment buildup in some places. This sediment increases flood risk to hundreds of adjacent residences and businesses.

Removing this sediment will reduce flood risk in neighborhoods including Barrio Santa Cruz, Barrio Kroeger Lane, and Menlo Park, and will protect bridges downstream.

Sediment from the project will be moved to the long-closed “A” Mountain landfill nearby. After completing this project, the District plans to perform minor maintenance approximately every five years, depending on flood activity.