PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A big project for a water pipeline that was set to run through part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve was re-routed on Tuesday evening, making a win for people trying to save some hiking trails in the city. The change comes weeks before digging was scheduled to start.
The huge 66-inch drought emergency pipeline will now run up the State Route 51 Freeway easement after the City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio negotiated a signed agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Late last year, Arizona's Family first reported about neighbors of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve organizing a protest against the original plan. The people of Dreamy Draw were fighting to keep the preserve safe and not against the need for the water pipeline itself. On Dec. 4, 2019, Dreamy Draw residents delivered a petition to the City Council, asking members to intervene.
State Representative Aaron Lieberman, whose district includes Dreamy Draw, says the change will drastically minimize the impact to the area. In a tweet, he wrote, "Happening now! Just got off the phone with @KateWGallego's office. As we speak, the mayor is announcing they have a draft agreement with ADOT that would allow them to move the proposed pipeline away from the #PhxMountains 22nd St trailhead and over alongside the 51."
Happening now! Just got off the phone with @KateWGallego’s office. As we speak the Mayor is announcing they have a draft agreement with ADOT that would allow them to move the proposed pipeline away from the @PhxMountains 22nd St trailhead and over alongside the 51. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/yodK4AdQhg— Aaron Lieberman (@aaron4az) January 14, 2020
Water Service Director Kathryn Sorensen released a letter explaining the 66-inch pipeline project that is related to the relocation of an existing, distressed 48-inch pipeline that already runs through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The later also says that two neighborhood open houses will be set for Feb. 4 to showcase the projects and address additional concerns. They will be held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix at 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
There will still be a hearing by a council subcommittee on Wednesday for two citizen petitions against the water pipeline project. The City of Phoenix confirms the drafted agreement, but nothing has been finalized. Stay with Arizona's Family for updates on what happens.