U.S. Army Corps Commander to Present Award, Announce Funding for Rio Salado Area

April 9, 2009

U.S. Army Corps Commander to Present Award, Announce Funding for Rio Salado Area

The city of Phoenix has earned a prestigious award for the design of the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday, April 9 officially awarded the city, along with the project’s main design firm CH2MHill, its prestigious Chief of Engineers Design and Environmental Award of Excellence.

The Chief of Engineers Design and Environmental Awards Program was started in 1965 to recognize and promote excellence in design achievements by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its professional partners. Its highest award, the Chief of Engineers Award of Excellence, requires a unanimous decision by the award jury for an entry that exhibits excellence in all major professional design disciplines. This award is not given every year, but only when a project truly stands out among nominations.

Col. Magness also will officially announce the appropriation of $1.43 million in federal funding for preliminary engineering and design of the Phoenix Rio Salado Oeste Environmental Project, which will extend the current project from 19th to 83rd avenues.

At the beginning of the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Project, more than 90 percent of the area’s original native riverbed habitat had been destroyed, taken over by hundreds of tons of construction debris, old tires, and other garbage. Today, the restored habitat in the Salt River from 19th Avenue to 24th Street dramatically improves the area’s quality of life, providing opportunities for recreation, and observation and education about wildlife and native bird species, and gives residents a chance to escape the urban environment.

Extensive information on the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area is available online at phoenix.gov/riosalado.

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