Phoenix-area canal banks getting a makeover

PHOENIX - A $16 million canal bank makeover is underway in Phoenix to make the area safer, cleaner and more comfortable for walkers, runners and bicyclists. 

"It's actually been part of our plans for quite some time in the city of Phoenix," said Mark Melnychenko, Deputy Director for Transportation Planning and Programming, who has been actively involved in the Grand Canalscape Project. 

"We're going see a multi-use path with some landscaping, art, lighting, safe crossings at the intersections," he said. 

The 12-mile stretch spans from the central part of the city at I-17 to Tempe. Phase one broke ground a week ago on improvements between 15th and 16th streets and the Gateway area near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Phase two is more expansive and construction is expected to begin a year from now. All work is being done on the unpaved north bank.  

The project is being paid for by the city, the Salt River Project and a $10.3-million grant from the federal government. 

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