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Phoenix-area canals to be transformed in ‘Grand Canalscape’ project

An effort is underway to transform Phoenix-area canals into great public areas.

The Grand Canalscape project would use art, landscaping and improved access to turn canals in the Valley into a continuous trail through Phoenix, Glendale and Tempe.

Supporters of the project say Valley canals have been a mess.  “For years, we’ve turned our backs on canals in the Valley and treated them like alley ways,” said Diane Brossart, the President of the environmental group Arizona Forward.  “We have more canals than Venice and Amsterdam combined.  These iconic waterways have significant potential to become landmark amenities for the Valley.”

City of Phoenix Spokeswoman Monica Hernandez says two sections will be improved in the first phase of the project.

“We’re looking at the stretch from 15th Avenue to 16th Street on the west end, and then we’re looking at the Gateway north area between Garfield Street and Van Buren along the Grand Canal,” she said.

The city of Phoenix and Salt River Project are funding the $4.9 million project.  Construction is set to start next summer.  Hernandez said it could take several years to complete.

The city is looking for your input on the project.  For more details, go to www.grandcanalscape.com.

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