A working committee is expected to be formed next year bringing together representatives from Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, and smaller communities with the idea of jump-starting a move to bring the Salt River in those areas back to life.
That water stream, which once flowed through Phoenix and its neighboring cities, dried up after a dam project in the first decade of the last century, leaving behind what has been described as a gigantic scar measuring more than one mile in width in certain segments.
But a move to bring back the Salt River corridor received a boost earlier this year from Arizona Senator John McCain, who has talked about the creation of a project that would create a flood control channel stretching some 20 miles from Mesa to Phoenix and punctuated by recreational parks and lagoons.
Because McCain was diagnosed last summer with a form of terminal brain cancer, the work getting the project going is considered to be more timely than ever.
“Those who have worked with the senator say that a development project that could change the face and future of metro Phoenix is as fitting a legacy project as any,” the Arizona Republic recently said.
Proponents of what is being called the Rio Salado Project, in honor of the Spanish name for the Salt River used more than a century ago, say the initial challenge will be getting the various city and community governments in the area to agree on one action plan.
That effort is made more complicated by a number of private interests who own land along the banks of the river.
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