Nov 29, 2018

Pima County, Ariz., to Dredge Santa Cruz River Sediment

The flood control district plans to manage sediment buildup ahead of winter rains

Sediment control plan underway in Tucson, Ariz.
Sediment control plan underway in Tucson, Ariz.

The Pima County Regional Flood Control District announced plans to remove approximately 150,000 cu yards of sediment from the bed of the Santa Cruz River channel in Tucson, Ariz. The dredging is scheduled to begin Jan. 8 and will take up to two months to remove the sediment buildup.

The project aims to increase capacity of the Santa Cruz River ahead of potential winter rains, as reported by Tucson News Now. Sediment buildup over the past 30 years has reduced the river’s carrying capacity, with more than 10 ft of buildup in some places.

“Lowering the level of the riverbed will improve the channel’s ability to carry the significant amounts of runoff caused by the power storms we experience, in both the winter and during the Monsoon,” said Project Manager Colby Fryar. “We want to mitigate the flooding potential in large storm events to neighborhoods such as Menlo Park, Barrio Hollywood and Barrio Kroger Lane and to protect bridges downstream.”

In addition, crews will work to preserve native vegetations while removing invasive species. This sediment control project is the second phase of a larger effort to remove sediment buildup in the Santa Cruz. The first phase removed sediment between Speedway Boulevard and Grant Road this past spring.

The flood control district took over maintenance responsibilities for the river from the city of Tucson in 2014. The district will hold an open house meeting to give the public a chance to meet the project team and review maps.