PRESS RELEASE: Flagstaff Pipeline West Flood Area – Highway 180 Improvements Update



 

BACKGROUND

 

The Pipeline Fire was reported on June 12, 2022, approximately 6 miles north of Flagstaff within the Coconino National Forest. The fire burned 26,532 acres, including portions of the Schultz Creek and Chimney watersheds. A burn scar assessment and flood modeling subsequently showed potential post-wildfire flood risk to neighborhoods on the west side of Flagstaff. Both the City of Flagstaff and the Coconino County Flood Control District are collaborating with public and private partners and taking extensive measures and precautions to mitigate damage from future potential flood events.

 

HIGHWAY 180 IMPROVEMENTS

 

In response to the threat of post-wildfire flooding after the Pipeline Fire, the City is prioritizing the improvement of the culvert under Hwy 180 near the Northwood Apartments to prevent overflow. The current capacity of the culvert can accommodate less than 100 CFS of water, which is insufficient to handle post-wildfire flows.

 

The City has contracted with Shepard-Wesnitzer, Inc., an engineering consultant firm to provide options and conceptual designs for an improved culvert at Hwy 180. Two alternative designs are currently being evaluated by the City, the Coconino County Flood Control District and the Arizona Department of Transportation. Both alternatives would contain the flow from a 100-year event.

 

The improvements of the Hwy 180 culvert are estimated to cost approximately six million dollars. The project is currently unfunded, but the City is examining a variety of funding sources to obtain funding as soon as possible.

 

This is a high-priority project for the City of Flagstaff. Staff is working diligently to obtain funding, acquire the necessary property and design the improvements. The City is collaborating closely with its partners to move the project forward as soon as possible. A timeline for project delivery is currently unavailable, but residents will be informed of future updates through these e-newsletters.