Here's where all of Phoenix South Mountain Preserve's $23 million upgrades stand

Here's where all of Phoenix South Mountain Preserve's $23 million upgrades stand

Alexis Egeland, The Republic | azcentral.com

South Mountain Preserve, one of the nation's largest city-run parks, will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2024. City officials expect the monumental year to attract bigger crowds than the park is used to, so they are investing $23 million to improve different aspects of the park. 

The project is funded by a voter-approved sales tax. 

Here is an update on those efforts:

Entrance

2016 proposal: For decades, the Central Avenue entrance to the park had a guard stand and Scorpion Gulch, a former trading post that city design plans called an "unappealing first impression." The city planned to replace the doors and windows of the guard station and add new gates. A new 34-foot concrete obelisk backed by LED lighting would replace the original monument.

Status: City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation spokesman Gregg Bach said renovations to the Central Avenue entrance are underway and expected to be completed this spring. Details on specific dates were not available. 

Ramadas

2016 proposal: South Mountain has some picnic areas with beautiful views, but they are covered by deteriorating ramadas. The city proposed roof replacements, stone rehabilitation, landscaping improvements, new parking and LED security lighting.

Status: Bach said work to renovate the ramadas is underway and also expected to be completed sometime this spring.

Desert Foothills trailhead

2016 proposal: This trailhead, located inside a neighborhood at 14521 S. Desert Foothills Parkway, suffered a lot of wear-and-tear and needed some maintenance. The city said it would add restrooms, ramadas, a marker kiosk, landscape improvements, and water and sewer connections.

Status: Construction is expected to begin this summer, Bach said. 

Pima Canyon trailhead

2016 proposal: Pima Canyon's trailhead, also located in a residential area at 4736 E. Pima Canyon Road, has suffered wear-and-tear from use as well. The city proposed new restrooms, ramada covers, sidewalks and concrete pads, as well as more parking and better signage.

Status: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton took to Facebook on Feb. 2 to announce the re-opening of the upgraded Pima Canyon trailhead, "now featuring restrooms, ramadas, drinking fountains and more."

Beverly Canyon trailhead

2016 proposal: This trailhead, found at 8800 S. 46th Street, allows hikers to access a few different trails. The problem, however, is that storm-water runoff has damaged some of the amenities. The city proposed two new ramadas, sidewalks, signage, landscaping and improvements to the parking and lighting.

Status: Construction is expected to begin this summer, Bach said. 

This piece was originally published on azcentral.com.

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