Saturday, April 23, 2011

Barbed Wire and Broken Glass for Good: A Tunnel is Born

Stop Right There

Way back in November, 2010 (seems like forever ago, doesn't it?), I posted about plans to bore / dig / blast / trench / hydro-drill a new tunnel under 7th Avenue in Phoenix at the multi-use path crossing along the Arizona Canal Diversion Channel (ACDC) in the form of a complete photo guide (please see). I recently discovered, by riding smack into this fence, that the project has begun! For a few months, we'll be riding / walking around this project, but when it's complete, there will be another feature making this already-good path even better.

Now, taking a step back, out of the street-level crossings the canal paths make, this one never seemed that bad to me, however: I usually cross at off hours or at night, not at rush hour, so it may be a different story during busier times of the day. Some examples of busier street crossings are Camelback Road, and Scottsdale Road, both of which can be either exercises in diverting to a marked crossing and waiting for two lights, or else, froggering across between cars.

You can see the barbed wire at the top of the fence. Diverting around the project requires crossing the canal on the street bridge, and taking the path on the other side. It seemed less used, though, with broken glass and other debris on the surface. Which took me back to my "carry a wisk broom to clean up path debris" idea. I did pick one up that snaps into an accompanying dust pan, but haven't been motivated to fabricate some sort of frame or rack mount for it yet. In any case, this wasn't a spot cleanup of a few pieces of glass, but rather a block or two of crap on the path that would need a push broom or even better, a Python S2000, to make it right. But I'm not complaining. This is barbed wire and broken glass for good. After the summer heat has passed, after the monsoons are done and we get our autumn on, there will be a new tunnel here. One more important element in the system to get you to do the needful. Get up. Go ride.



  1. I know this will make another connection. It is too bad that there's no way to safely pass when all the constructors have the day off as in the photo.

  2. Steve, yes, I need to make a return run past here in a week or so to see what it's like then. There's considerable disruption to the car traffic here, too, I should have mentioned.

  3. Okay it's AUGUST now... what is the status of this tunnel and path? I haven't been down there all summer and would really like to know. City of Phoenix has NO updates for the public on this project. At least none that I could find.

  4. MrTruett, the signs up on the barbed wire topped fences around the project indicate a planned completion target of November, 2011. But based on other tunnel projects I have observed progress on, I am not confident they will hit that. Unless they accelerate the pace, I bet we're looking at Jan. 2012.

  5. I actually spoke with project development later in the day and was told some valuable information. They did get behind because of a gas line they did not previously know about. It took about 3 weeks for SRP to relocate so they could resume. With the heat as well, they are not able to pour concrete during the day. They have been working at night but the project is taking longer than anticipated. They are still in hopes to have completed by Halloween, OCT. 31st. My fingers are crossed. Until then I'm going to start heading down that way again. Will look into a detour suggested down Dunlap to continue on trail. Greatly appreciate all the communication and information from fellow cyclists!!


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