Switzer Canyon Waterline-Phase IV
Starting in 2012, the City began replacing a 1950’s transmission main in Switzer Canyon in phases. Three of five planned phases have been completed. Phase I began at the intersection of Switzer Canyon Road and Route 66. Phase III ended at the intersection of Fir Avenue and San Francisco Street.
The Switzer Canyon Waterline-Phase IV project is comprised of the installation of two new water transmission mains, new fire hydrants, and relocating the service connection for the Elks Lodge to the distribution main in Fir Avenue. The Project includes rigorous protection and restoration of land in Switzer Canyon that is affected by construction. The Project is the fourth of five phases of the Switzer Canyon Transmission Main Improvement. The Project is included in the Water Services’ Drinking Water Fund that has been programmed in the FY23 and FY24 Capital Improvement 5-year plan.
The Project has a length of approximately 5200 feet. Included in the project will be the two water mains with numerous gate valves, fire hydrants and other appurtenances. Work will include returning all disturbed areas to their original condition through the implementation of the Switzer Watermain Restoration Guidelines that were developed in partnership with the Arboretum of Flagstaff, the Museum of Northern Arizona and the City’s Open Space Program. Approximately 800 feet of a natural gas main relocation and 500 feet of social trail relocation are included in this project.
Timeline and Potential Impacts
City Council awarded the Switzer Canyon Waterline-Phase IV construction contract to Mountain High Excavating on June 6th, 2023. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023, with completion anticipated in 2024.
Construction impacts may include traffic detours, temporary lane closures with traffic flagging and temporary access to parcels with signage. Coordination with property owners will be made for gas service disconnects and reconnects.
The City’s overall water system will benefit from the installation of the new transmission mains. Increased reliability and reduced service interruptions from failures are the benefits of the new Zone A transmission main. Zone B will also receive the benefit of reduced service interruptions as well as increased capacity with an additional transmission main.
Residents that border the project had requested new water services in exchange for granting property rights. The City reviewed the Out of City Water Policy with regards to the requests from residents for the exchange. The policy and the project were reviewed by staff, the Water Commission, and Council. It was determined by the Water Commission to not deviate from the policy, not exchange new water services for property rights, and continue with the standard process for purchasing property rights. The recommendation of the Water Commission was presented to the City Council and it was accepted.