The Arizona Canal Diversion Channel was designed to relieve pressure on the Arizona Canal, which not only transports irrigation and municipal drinking water in Phoenix but also functions as a dam during heavy rains. Actually building the final 4.6-mile section of the new, 40-foot-wide, 24-foot-deep concrete drainage channel was a considerable challenge. The channel runs parallel to the canal with limited space between them. Homes and businesses were in extremely close proximity on the other side, and existing overhead power lines limited overhead work. The project’s virtual inaccessibility inspired some truly innovative solutions.

Perhaps the most innovative customized equipment Sundt designed and built for the project was a traveling concrete forming system. The team couldn’t use large cranes to set conventional wall panels. Instead, they developed a system comprised of four separate towers with a work platform atop each one, and two pairs of wall forms per platform. Each tower/work platform supported the pairs of wall forms, which were 36 feet long and 30 feet high. Sundt used the towers in pairs to set the channel wall, pumping concrete into the forms through a swing boom. The leading wall-form pair, for example, formed the first and third segments; 12 hours after concrete placement, workers stripped this pair and moved the towers ahead. The same pair then formed the fifth and seventh segments. The trailing pair of towers formed the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth channel wall segments. Sundt used this ingenious system for the duration of the project.



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Arizona Canal Diversion Channel, Reach 4