By Athena Sanchez, City of Phoenix Water Services Department

After years of planning and development, the City of Phoenix broke ground on the Drought Pipeline Project in early 2021. Along State Route 51, drivers can see the 66-inch diameter steel pipes lined up, waiting for construction crews to bury them underground. In some areas, the pipes will be nearly 40 feet deep.

Construction for the project continues on Bell Road from 31st Street to 32nd Street. Work is also underway near the future booster pump station site at 31st Street, south of Bell Road. The pipeline construction will continue south on 31st Street to Greenway Road, and the work is currently active at 31st Street through Marconi Avenue.

Work will require intermittent closing of 32nd Street from Greenway Road to Thunderbird Road; project managers will notify residents and business owners in the area about the closures. Construction on 32nd Street from Thunderbird Road to Cactus Road will be restricted to one lane in most places to accommodate the work. Northern Avenue between Cheryl Drive and 26th Street is limited to local access, while crews tunnel under State Route 51. Motorists will be able to access 32nd Street and 26th Street. As always, drivers are encouraged to be cautious near constructions zones.

The Colorado River is the primary water source for over 400,000 customers in North Phoenix. The Drought Pipeline will ensure all customers have access to safe, reliable, clean drinking water during future times of shortage on the Colorado River.​ The new pipeline will have the capability of moving 75 million gallons of Salt and Verde River water a day from the city’s southern area to the north.

Local residents can stay updated on the Drought Pipeline Project by downloading the free Drought Pipeline Project app, available in the Apple App and Google Play Stores. For more information, including downloading the app, visit