Historic American Engineering Record: Highline Canal, South Side of the Salt River, Tempe and Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
Author(s): Fred Andersen
Together, Historic American Engineering Records (HAER) Nos. AZ-22 and AZ-23 present a written historical summary and relevant historical documentation about the construction and use of the Western Canal and the Highline Canal, which are waterways that serve Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, and parts of south Phoenix, Arizona on the south side of the Salt River. HAER No. AZ-22 (see https://core.tdar.org/document/393529) presents a narrative history of both canals and their infrastructure features. It also includes photographs, drawings, and maps of the Western Canal. This report, HAER No. AZ-23, contains photographs, drawings, and maps of the Highline Canal.
In the early 1900's, the farmers and residents who lived along the southern and eastern slopes of the Salt River (South) Mountains were in need of a water delivery system. In 1910, the Reclamation Survey attempted to buy portions of the Tempe Canal to drain waterlogged fields in south Tempe and to deliver water to other parts of the southeast Salt River Valley. When Reclamation was not able to purchase those canals and obtain the water, the Highline Canal Construction Company formed to build and mange a canal that would deliver water to agricultural interests and residents in the vicinity of the Salt River (South) Mountains. From 1912 to 1914, the company constructed the Highline Pump and Canal, which wraps around the base of the South Mountains.
The Highline Canal and the parallel Western Canal continue to supply water to the southeastern portions of the Salt River Valley, and are long-standing features on the landscape. The canal right-of-ways have also been transformed into recreational spaces, which include bike and pedestrian trails and canal-side parks.
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 South of the Salt River •
- National Archeological Database (NADB)
Cite this Record
Historic American Engineering Record: Highline Canal, South Side of the Salt River, Tempe and Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Fred Andersen. 1990 ( tDAR id: 393530) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8833T44
Calendar Date: 1912 to 1914 (initial construction of Highline Canal and Highline Pump Plant)
Calendar Date: 1951 to 1952 (construction of new Highline Pump Plant)
Calendar Date: 1918 to 1921 (additional construction at Highline Pump Plant)
Calendar Date: 1912 to 1989 (use and history of Highline Canal, Highline Pumping Plant, and associated features)
min long: -112.101; min lat: 33.319 ; max long: -111.949; max lat: 33.389 ;
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-23
NADB document id number(s): 2202023
NADB citation id number(s): 000000166127
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: Figures AZ-23-22 to AZ-23-30. 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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