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Phoenix Wins $10.3 Million Grant to Expand Development of Grand Canal PathPhoenix Wins $10.3 Million Grant to Expand Development of Grand Canal Path<div class="ExternalClass641CA0A17EBA4243B20CBE52FB870650"><p>The City of Phoenix has won a $10.3 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant to build eight miles of paved multi-use path, high-intensity crosswalk beacons and pedestrian bridges along the Grand Canal. The improvements, the second phase of the Grand Canalscape project, will complete the trail along the waterway from Interstate 17 east to the City of Tempe border.<br><br>The project improvements encompass a range of facilities to improve the quality and safety of non-motorized travel along the Grand Canal including:</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><p>Eight miles of new paved multi-use trail stretching from I-17 east to the Tempe border</p></li><li><p>New pedestrian bridges</p></li><li><p>High-intensity and rapid-flashing crosswalk beacons at key intersections</p></li><li><p>Pedestrian lighting</p></li><li><p>Improved neighborhood access connections.</p></li></ul><p>The project will be linked to <a href="http://grandcanalscape.com/">Phase I of the Grand Canalscape project</a>, which includes six miles of path along the canal from 15th Avenue to 16th Street on the west end, and Garfield to Van Buren streets on the east. Phase I currently is in design and construction is scheduled to start next summer. The new Phase II portion of trail also will provide major connections to light rail, bus and the city and region's growing pedestrian and bicycle network. The city partnered with Salt River Project (SRP) to apply for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. This is the first TIGER grant the city has received.</p><p><br>"This grant will help transform the Grand Canal from an under-utilized water delivery asset into a bike and pedestrian-friendly pathway that is full of life and activity," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "This is a great investment that will help our canal system reach its massive potential as a community resource."<br><br>"We have been looking forward to expanding the Grand Canalscape project for some time and this grant allows us to accomplish the project," said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair of the City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. "Completing the project will enhance the area and promote transportation options along the canal."<br><br>"We were happy to support this effort to acquire a TIGER grant, which will allow Phoenix to create additional community amenities on the Grand Canal," said Jim Duncan of SRP's Water Engineering and Groundwater Department. "Except for a very short but important portion of the canal near the Tempe/Phoenix border, this grant will essentially connect the Grand Canal trail from Tempe Town Lake all the way to the I-17."<br><br>The Grand Canalscape provides strong links to the Gateway and Midtown Districts for Reinvent PHX planning efforts, the Phoenix Comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan, Phoenix's Complete Streets Program, and the West Phoenix Revitalization Area. The project will include valuable infrastructure for connections to schools, employment, and areas the city has identified for economic development. This project coincides with the federal emphasis on "Ladders of Opportunity" found in many recent USDOT transportation initiatives.<br><br>"The Grand Canalscape project will increase connectivity to bicycle commuters and pedestrians by enhancing the ease of movement along this key path," said Councilwoman Laura Pastor. "This will add to the vibrancy of a large area of central Phoenix with more bikeable lanes, better connections to various public transit options, safer routes, and promoting healthy lifestyles. The central corridor is a growing employment and cultural hub, and the local workforce as well as families will now have more convenient means to get to jobs and access educational and recreational facilities. Finally, Grand Canalscape demonstrates a commitment on the City's part to reinforce effective intergovernmental partnerships for improving multimodal transportation and implementing smart urban growth strategies."<br><br>"Bike and pedestrian paths are important to our quality of life in the greater Phoenix metropolitan region.  When we build infrastructure, we need to connect and coordinate with those of surrounding cities whenever possible, and this path will connect two existing bike routes from the Tempe border all the way west to Glendale," said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. "We also need to integrate bike paths into road and highway projects whenever possible, so that making improvements for vehicles doesn't come at the expense of cyclists." <br><br>"The Grand Canalscape bike path project will create a more active, well-lit path to connect neighborhoods where cycling is an important and popular mode of transportation," said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. "More importantly, it will be a huge boost to public safety by providing easier and more secure ways for cyclists to cross busy roadways."<br><br>This full project ultimately will result in a contiguous at-grade trail along the Grand Canal between Glendale and Tempe. Work on Phase II is tentatively scheduled to be completed by mid-2018.<br><br>"We are thrilled that the city will now be able to fund much-needed improvements along the canals! Our neighboring cities such as Tempe and Scottsdale have really activated their canals, and we're excited that Phoenix will be able to create similar safe and enjoyable spaces for bicyclists and pedestrians," said Libby Coyner of Phoenix Spokes People. "The canals are already such an important component of the bicycle transportation network, but the crossings have been particularly problematic and dangerous - we're optimistic that this will solve this. We're just delighted that the city has been rewarded for prioritizing multi-modal transportation!"<br><br>Phoenix will combine the USDOT award with a $5 million local match from the Street Transportation Department and Salt River Project Aesthetic funds.</p></div>10/28/2015 7:00:00 PMDavid Urbinato602-495-5405