Phoenix to begin first phase of Grand Canalscape Project

PHOENIX – The ancient Hohokam civilization first built Phoenix’s canal system more than 600 years ago. In the fall, Phoenix officials plan to start a project they hope will revive and improve the Grand Canal.

The Grand Canalscape Project will include nearly 12 miles of trails along the canal, from Interstate 17 to the border between Phoenix and Tempe.

The first phase includes the north bank between 15th Avenue and 16th Street and the south bank between Garfield and Van Buren streets.

Some of the improvements along the Grand Canal will include commuter paths, pedestrian lighting, landscaping and public art, according to the city of Phoenix. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

When completed, pedestrians will have a continuous trail along the Grand Canal. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

Not all areas of the canal have railings. This portion off of Central Avenue will see improvements, but it also is a good example of an accessible area of the canal. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

This area of the canal near Central Avenue also has a bridge that makes crossing easier for those walking or biking. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

Areas of the canal, such as this one near Van Buren Street, have been vandalized with graffiti. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

The light rail runs along many areas of the canal, like here off of Central Avenue. Crosswalks are not always available in other areas of the canal, and the city plans to add more. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

Workers will construct a paved pathway along the entire length of the canal between Interstate 17 and Tempe. The Salt River Project requires a 20-foot wide “clear zone” along the canal so it can maintain the canal and electrical facilities. Because of this, the city plans to add greenery only where the existing canal bank is wider than 20 feet. Since no branches can encroach into the clear zone, the city will only plant trees when the bank is wider than 30 feet. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)

The new pathway will be made out of concrete, and it will be 10 feet wide. The second phase will likely begin in March 2018 and end the following March. (Photo by Alexis Berdine/Cronkite News)