Linking the city: The Grand Canalscape forges new paths and connections

A guitarist serenades event-goers on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. The event celebrated the completion of the Grand Canalscape.

Finally, after years in the making, the Grand Canalscape path project is now complete. This means that pedestrians, bikers, runners, rollers and scooters can enjoy the new paved path from the I-17 to the Phoenix/Tempe border.

Bringing water and recreation to the Valley

SRP has been providing water and power to the Valley for over a century, even before Arizona achieved statehood. SRP’s water delivery system includes 131 miles of canals that help move water from reservoirs, known as lakes, to the Valley’s customers. Customers include municipal water treatment plants as well as agricultural and urban customers.

Have you ever wondered where our water comes from? Our water makes quite a journey from the watershed to your showerhead. It travels from forests through rivers and streams and into reservoirs before finally making its way into the Valley’s canal system.

Throughout the years, residents have come to appreciate the canals for recreational purposes as well. They’re even a place for fun events like Canal Convergence, an annual community event that celebrates sustainability, water and art.

grand-canalscape-map-shows-new-path
Map of the Grand Canalscape path along the Grand Canal, provided by the City of Phoenix.

The Grand Canalscape is ready for urban explorers

The Grand Canalscape reintegrates the existing Grand Canal into surrounding neighborhoods. Together, the City of Phoenix, SRP and the U.S. Department of Transportation collaborated on this project. Its purpose was to make 12 miles of the Grand Canal a focal point for the community to enjoy.

“This project is an important connection. It connects the Central Phoenix area to Tempe, so it expands greatly the opportunity for people to travel across the Valley. Whether it’s walking, jogging or bicycling, they’re able to do that while being off the street,” said Jim Duncan, an SRP manager who oversees canal bank recreation projects.

In partnership with SRP, the cities develop these multi-use paved paths for residents to enjoy with lighting, seating areas and even commissioned art in various locations. The Grand Canalscape project, with help from the City of Phoenix’s Office of Arts and Culture, will incorporate unique art features along the 12-mile path.

The Grand Canalscape improvements include:

  • 5 new bridges
  • Landscaping
  • Multi-use paths
  • Pedestrian lighting
  • 17 new connection points into neighborhoods
  • Signalized crossings at streets for improved safety

Because of these new connections, we hope that residents gain a new appreciation for their city. Additionally, we hope people can rediscover the canal system that runs through the Valley. Whether it’s for fun or purely for commuting, there’s a new path to explore.

How well do you know the history of SRP canals? Test your knowledge with a quiz!

We hope that you are able to enjoy the new path and connections throughout Phoenix. Remember, always be safe when enjoying the canal recreation paths!

Audria

Audria

Audria is a writer and digital strategist, and has called SRP her "home away from home" for almost a decade. She lives in Old Town Scottsdale with her husband, 2 tiny humans and pups. As a local enthusiast, she spends her time exploring local businesses and sharing the treasures she finds along the way.

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