Technical Memorandum: A Consideration of the Tempe and Western Canals

Author(s): J. Simon Bruder

Year: 1993


This report was prepared at the request of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) for documentation concerning the present condition of the Tempe and Western canal segments subject to impact by the proposed Price Freeway between the Superstition Freeway and Pecos Road. Both structures are part of an extensive canal system, identified today as the Salt River Project System, that conveys water for agricultural, industrial, and municipal uses throughout the Salt River Valley. The canal system is owned by the United States government, but administered and operated by the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP). This study is one part of multidisciplinary environmental studies being conducted in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), but also is intended for use as an aspect of compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is serving as lead federal agency for the project with ADOT acting on their behalf.

In recognition of the fact that the SRP canal system, which dates from the late 1800s and early 1900s, represents an extremely important aspect of historic settlement of the Valley, in 1989 six components of the system were determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (National Register) in consultation among the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), ADOT, SRP, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). Scheduling issues dictated a rather abbreviated consultation process in 1989, and while the historic importance of the SRP canal system is not in question, the integrity of individual segments has yet to be evaluated.

Therefore, our assessment of those portions of the Tempe and Western canals within the current project area is presented below. We begin with an explanation of the regulatory requirements that pertain to cultural resources, followed by a consideration of consultation regarding the canal system conducted to date. Thereafter, background information about the two canal systems is briefly outlined. We then describe the present condition of the Tempe and Western canals within the project area, and compare the existing condition of the structures to their earlier configurations. In addition, we also briefly discuss the various alterations that the SRP canal system as a whole has experienced over the years. Finally, we lay out recommendations concerning the significance of the canal segments subject to impact by the proposed freeway, and comment on the potential severity of those effects. Copies of pertinent prior correspondence are included as an appendix.

Cite this Record

Technical Memorandum: A Consideration of the Tempe and Western Canals. J. Simon Bruder. 1993 ( tDAR id: 406078) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8406078

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.039; min lat: 33.43 ; max long: -111.924; max lat: 33.503 ;

Record Identifiers

No.(s): FHWA-AZ-EIS-93-01

Salt River Project Library Call No.(s): E78.C36B78 1993

Salt River Project Library Barcode No.(s): 00090936

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
1993_BruderMoore_PriceFreeway.pdf 34.11mb Mar 1, 1993 Feb 15, 2017 10:46:18 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager