TUCSON, Ariz. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District received a letter of appreciation from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry following a Sept. 8 rain event in Tucson. Tropical Storm Norbert brought significant rainfall to Tucson and the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The letter thanked the District for its work on the Tucson Drainage Area/Arroyo Chico Multi-use Project. The project encompasses nearly six miles of the Arroyo Chico, which is also known as the Tucson Arroyo Wash, beginning at Alvernon Way and continuing to where it meets with the Santa Cruz River close to St. Mary Road. The project provides multi-phase flood risk management, environmental restoration and recreation elements to the residents and businesses in its area.
“For Pima County, sufficient rainfall fell in the Arroyo Chico Basin to yield an approximate 50-year recurrence interval,” Huckelberry said in his letter. “Original flood and damage predictions indicated that as many as 1,315 residential and commercial structures would have been flooded without this prevention project.”
Stephanie Morgan, the project engineer for the L.A. District’s Tucson Resident Office, said she is pleased with how the project functioned during the rain event.
“At the basins, the water was able to remain within the designed parameters,” she said. “The rain downtown remained within the existing box culvert converging into the Tucson Arroyo culvert while the new work on the Tucson Drainage box culvert was under construction.”
The completed project encompasses the Randolph Park Detention Basin Complex, which was built by Pima County, Park Avenue Detention Basin Complex, channel improvements along the Arroyo Chico between the two basin complexes, and a new reinforced concrete box culvert to improve the confluence between the High School Wash and Tucson Arroyo. The Park Avenue Detention Basin Complex and Channel Improvements portion of the Tucson Drainage Area Flood Control Project includes the Park Avenue Detention Basin Complex, Arroyo Chico Channel Modifications and the new High School Wash Box Culvert.
Morgan credits the teamwork among the District, the County and the contractors for the success of the project. She said projects like these make her proud.
“It is great to know that USACE has accomplished our mission to mitigate flood risk management for the city of Tucson,” Morgan said.