TUCSON, Ariz. – The High School Wash Box Culvert is the latest phase of the Tucson Drainage Area/Arroyo Chico Multi-use Project completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. This milestone was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the campus of Tucson High School April 16.
With construction complete, the enhancements to the drainage system are now mostly transparent to the community, hidden deep underground.
"Every summer, I would have to tell why Fourth Avenue was flooded and [now] I won't have to do that," said Pima County Regional Flood Control District Director Suzanne Shields. "This is really a shining example of doing something that protects people, will help invigorate and move this community forward."
The project greatly reduced the flood risk for more than 1,000 residential, commercial and industrial structures with an assessed value of over $300 million. This segment was completed in 11 months at a cost of roughly $5 million.
South Pacific Division Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Toy spoke of his long association with the area, beginning with a dedication ceremony for the Park Avenue Basins in November 2012 while he was the LA District commander.
"What makes this project so special, is it talks to different business lines we have in the Corps," said Toy. "The idea of multiple use. So many projects used to be one dimensional, just flood risk management or just ecosystem restoration."
Toy lauded the community for being visionaries in the multi-use concept of flood control and cited the District's motto to sum up this successful project.
"Building Strong-Together, I think that really symbolizes what you have here," said Toy. "People working together for the common good to do a project that saves lives and is great for the community. We're so happy to be a part of this and proud of our association with the City of Tucson."