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Victory for residents opposed to 10-mile pipeline in north Phoenix neighborhood

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 19:37:23-05

PHOENIX — For months, Phoenix's Water Services Department reviewed several alternative routes to build a ten-mile long, 66-inch wide pipeline connecting the 24th Street water treatment facility to north Phoenix.

On Wednesday during the Phoenix City Council's Land Use and Livability subcommittee meeting, Water Services' revealed the route it will take will avoid one central Phoenix neighborhood and a substantial portion of the North Mountain Preserve.

Officials say the pipeline is needed to reduce the city's dependence on Colorado River water.

"We are glad to see the alternative route," Libby Goff said. Goff was one of the dozens of residents who attended the meeting hoping to delay the start the project.

The pipeline will now leave the water treatment facility and head north through the Grenada Park neighborhood on 21st Street. It will cross Lincoln Drive and continue north to Myrtle Street. It will then head west to the SR 51 and then run parallel to the expressway until it gets to the Dreamy Draw Recreation Center. From there it will follow a bike path through the preserve to 32nd Street and Bell Road. The city will purchase the right-of-way from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

"You know the last route recommended here, that looks good. It's less impactful," said Patrick McMullen, President of the Phoenix Mountain Preservation Council.

But McMullen, like many of the others who attended the meeting, complained while the Water Department held meetings, it never included residents in the process.

"They didn't have a communication with the local community," McMullen said, "They just said, 'No we're here to speak' and that's it."

The council declined to accept a petition requesting more community input. Construction of Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to start in March.