Large federal grant will fund Canalscape project

U.S. Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, talk about a $10.3 million federal grant to finish the Grand Canalscape project in Phoenix. (Photo by Lauren Michaels/Cronkite News)

Arizona received a hefty grant this week to help fund the Canalscape project.

The $10.3 million grant from TIGER VII (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) will aid the completion of the Grand Canalscape project, including all of the canal trails, street crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists over about 8 miles. It will also help by providing more connections to bus and light rail lines, as well as connecting Arizonans to the national bicycle network.

Congressman Ruben Gallego was in Phoenix to speak about the grant and the importance of investing in transportation.

“I see a vision, a vision where we can find a way for you to move throughout all of Phoenix by canal, all the way to South Mountain, he said. “Without ever, ever, having to deal with one car crossing, but with that we need to keep working together.”

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, attended the news conference with Gallego. She said she hopes the project will be a leadership initiative to show the quality of life and importance of infrastructure funding. The current Highway Bill expired Thursday and Pelosi said the House’s next focus will be to pass the new bill.

“Many of our roads and bridges are really not even safe,” Pelosi added.

She hopes the bill will pass next week.

“We have a responsibility to do this. American Society of Civil Engineers gives a D+ to America for the conditions of our roads and our bridges, said Pelosi. “And that’s totally unacceptable.”

As for the Canalscape project, you can expect to see changes made right away with new murals that the community will help construct and safer crossings at streets. Eventually, there will be added lights and new pavement to the entire 8-mile stretch.