The water that flows in the Grand Canal Lateral is a much-needed resource in the West Valley. But this resource needed to follow a new channel to accommodate infrastructure improvements and increase public safety at Parkside Village, a mixed-use, master-planned community. The development is being built by Taylor Morrison Homes, and includes more than 700 homes and five parks in Avondale at 99th Avenue and Indian School Road.
The $2.6 million construction project, called Parkside Village-Grand Canal Lateral 23.0 Facilities Relocation, was awarded to Petra Contracting.
“The existing canal that runs along the west side of 99th Avenue needed to be relocated underground to provide access to the community, increase safety, and for road widening,” Keith Riefkohl, president of Petra Contracting, says. His construction company didn’t use any subcontractors, as they self-performed 100 percent of the project.
“We did partner with some great vendors: Forterra Pipe and Precast supplied the rubber-gasket reinforced concrete pipe (RGRCP), Diamondback Materials supplied slurry for the pipe up to the springline, concrete for structures, and shotcrete for canal lining tie in,” Riefkohl says.
The most challenging part of the project was the 90-day window to get the job completed, which included many details that had to be finished before the annual canal dry-up started in January.
“We had 2,600 linear feet of 90-inch pipe, a headwall on 90-inch pipe, a manhole on 90-inch pipe, and sleeving installed under the 90-inch pipe for future water lines and dry utilities to be installed before SRP could dry up the canal," Riefkohl says. “We started installing the pipe on December 14th and averaged 25 pipes (or 200 LF) per day. SRP was amazing to work with.”
Petra completed most of the tasks before the canal was drained on January 18th. “We then had three weeks to have work completed and ready for the canal to be filled and irrigation delivered to farmers,” Riefkohl says. Petra also demolished the existing SRP structures, finished installing pipes, and made the necessary tie-ins. These consisted of installing a sizeable 5-sided manhole that connected the 90-inch pipe to a 12 x 5-foot concrete box culvert and a new shotcrete canal that secured a new headwall to the existing canal.
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This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Jul/Aug 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 4.