Historic American Engineering Record: Old Crosscut Canal, North Side of Salt River, Maricopa County, Arizona
Author(s): Fred Andersen
Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. AZ-21 presents a written historical summary and relevant historical documentation about the construction and use of the Old Crosscut Canal, which unified irrigation systems near Phoenix's urban core on the north side of the Salt River and contributed to flood control. The report contains a narrative description, photographs, drawings, and maps.
The Old Crosscut Canal stretched from approximately Indian School Road to south of Washington Street near 46th and 48th streets in Phoenix. Although it has been a part of the landscape since the late 1800's, it has not been used to carry irrigation waters since approximately 1906. The Salt River Project and other agencies did not maintain active interest in maintaining the feature, as it was used sporadically for flood control.
The Old Crosscut Canal was built in 1889 to connect the Arizona Canal (see http://core.tdar.org/document/393523) with Grand Canal (see http://core.tdar.org/document/393162) and other large canals on the north side of the Salt River. Then, in 1913, the New Crosscut Canal was constructed two miles to the east. It replaced the old canal. The Old Crosscut Canal was used in the 1920s to drain waterlogged farmlands south of the Arizona Canal. After years of intermittent use, in the 1970s, the Flood Control District of Maricopa county renovated the structure to serve as a flood control wasteway to the Salt River. The canal right-of-way was included in a bike path system and recreational use increased. Later, in 1989, the lower part of the canal was relocated to construct the East Papago-Hohokam freeway.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- USDI Bureau of Reclamation, PXAO, Historic American Engineering Records (HAER), Salt River Project, Canals and Power Generation Facilities North of the Salt River •
- National Archeological Database (NADB)
Cite this Record
Historic American Engineering Record: Old Crosscut Canal, North Side of Salt River, Maricopa County, Arizona. Fred Andersen. 1991 ( tDAR id: 393527) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CV4JT9
Calendar Date: 1889 to 1890 (original construction of the Old Crosscut Canal)
Calendar Date: 1971 to 1975 (conversion of Old Crosscut Canal to flood control structure)
Calendar Date: 1890 to 1913 (operation of the Old Crosscut Canal)
Calendar Date: 1920 to 1970 (use of Crosscut Canal to drain flooded agricultural fields)
min long: -111.987; min lat: 33.434 ; max long: -111.928; max lat: 33.497 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Contact(s): Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office
Sponsor(s): USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office
Prepared By(s): Salt River Project Archives
Submitted To(s): National Park Service, Western Region
Historic American Engineering Record No.(s): AZ-21
NADB document id number(s): 5600287; 2202024
NADB citation id number(s): 000000242345; 000000166128
Redaction Note: Sensitive information has been removed from the publicly accessible digital copy of this report. The following figures and/or pages have been redacted: Figure 2 on pg 5, and Figures AZ-21-21 to AZ-21-36. Please contact the archaeologist at the USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office to obtain a complete digital copy of the report.
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