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The salt river issue ◊ Joint Head Dam: The Forgotten “Salt” Water Diversion ◊ Leonard Monti’s Plan to Bring a roman Bridge to Tempe ◊ How Phoenix’s Canals Shape the Valley’s Past and Future ◊ U.S. Highway 87’s “Bridge of Pipes” over the Salt River

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Phoenix’s Center Street Bridge:

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P R I N T | PA C K A G I N G | M A I L I N G | F U L F I L L M E N T E C O - F R I E N D LY S O L U T I O N S

Building a garage addition

Publisher William Horner billy@arizcc.com

Editor Douglas Towne douglas@arizcc.com Decorating my new house O 602 254 2427 F 602 258 1076 2 0 2 0 N 2 2 N D AV E P H O E N I X A Z 8 5 0 0 9 W W W. L I T H O T E C H A Z . C O M


Hopefully a vacation!

Contributors Alison Bailin Batz Carly Hanson Jeff Kronenfeld Mary Louise Long Tim Mages Jay Mark Luke M. Snell Doug Sydnor Tom Yount Production Manager Laura Horner laura@arizcc.com

What are you looking forward to in 2020? Getting organized!

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Magazine Advisor Chuck Runbeck chuck@arizcc.com Publisher’s Representative Barry Warner The new section of the 202 opening barry@arizcc.com Advertising 602-931-0069 arizcc.com/advertise Visit us online at arizcc.com Serving Contracting Firms and the Arizona Community… Then & Now Arizona Contractor & Community (ACC) magazine is published bi-monthly (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec). ACC is a professional publication designed for the contracting industry, engineers, architects, equipment rentals, suppliers, and others interested in Arizona and its history. Content including text, photographs or illustrations may not be reproduced without the written permission from the publisher. The publisher does not assume responsibility for unsolicited submissions. ACC reserves the right to reject any editorial and advertising material and reserves the right to edit all submitted content material. Arizona Contractor & Community Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved.


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Construction Around Arizona: Projects • People • Practices Back When - Bully for Roosevelt Dam! Douglas Towne Joint Head Dam: The Valley’s Forgotten “Salt” Water Diversion - Tom Yount Phoenix’s Center Street Bridge: Long and Long Gone Douglas Towne The Ponte Milvio: Leonard Monti’s Plan to Bring an Italian Medieval Bridge to Tempe - Jay Mark Roads of Gold: How Phoenix’s Canals Shape the Valley’s Past and Future - Jeff Kronenfeld Building on the Past - 1961: Salt River Sand & Gravel Operations Architect’s Perspective - William Francis Cody, FAIA: Experimenter - Doug Sydnor, FAIA

Digging Through the Archives - The Salt River’s Bridge of Pipes - William Horner


Bid Results - Bidjudge


ACC Advertisers’ Index

Front Cover The Arizona Sand & Rock Co.’s fleet of concrete trucks at their Salt River plant with the Central Avenue Bridge in the background, 1956. Inset - Postcard celebrating the completion of the Center Street Bridge, 1911.


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From The Editor - The Rebirth of the Salt River Douglas Towne

Jan-Feb 2020




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Jeff Kronenfeld

Mary Louise long

Article on page 44

Articles on pages 15 & 19



eff Kronenfeld is an independent journalist and writer based out of Phoenix, Arizona. He writes about history, technology, social change, and other topics. His articles have been published in Overture Global Magazine, the Psychedelic Times, Echo Magazine, Arizona Contractor and Community Magazine, Java Magazine, Seema.com, The Arts Beacon, PHXSUX, and the Phoenix Jewish News. At the latter publication, he received a Simon Rockower Award for excellence in news reporting from the American Jewish Press Association in 2018. He is a grant writer and associate editor for Iron City Magazine, a publication dedicated to creative expressions by and for the incarcerated. His fiction short story “Pain Machine” was featured in the anthology, The Sharpened Quill. He co-wrote the script for “Wasted,” which won Best Film at the Dinerwood Short Film Festival in 2016. His story “Man on Fire” was published by Four Chambers Press in 2017. In 2018, his story “Ostracism” was published by Ripples in Space: A Sci-Fi Journal. He also wrote the introduction to Cabinet of Curiosities, a book of photography by artist Ryan Parra. His story “The Obsolete” will be published in the 2019 edition of So It Goes, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. When not writing, researching, or conducting interviews, Jeff likes to garden, camp, hike, and kayak. See www.jeffkronenfeld.com for more of Jeff’s writing.

ary Louise Long grew up in the greater Phoenix area and now is a part of the downtown Phoenix community. She graduated from Xavier College Preparatory in 2018 as a four-year Blue-Ribbon Scholar, a member of the Quill and Scroll Honor Society, and varsity basketball and track teams. Mary was also Campus News Editor and Social Media liaison for Xavier’s newspaper X-Press. She will graduate in 2021 from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications as a Barrett honors student. Then, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in journalism. In her first year at Cronkite, Mary pursued print journalism but later found public relations was a better fit. As she approaches the end of her junior year, she hopes to gain both corporate and agency experience. As an active member of the Student Society of Public Relations of America, Mary holds an executive position on the Arizona State chapter. Earlier in the year, she had an internship with ASU’s Center for Child Well-Being as a communications assistant. There, Mary helped her supervisor produce a 28-page agenda for the annual Children of Incarcerated Parents Conference in downtown Phoenix. Mary’s contributions to the Arizona Contractor & Community magazine will be her first published news stories. (Her intermediate reporting teacher is thrilled). Nov-Dec Jan-Feb 2020 2019

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Arizona Contractor & Community

From the editor: The Rebirth of the Salt River Douglas Towne

Images courtesy of Author


o begin our ninth year of publication, Arizona Contractor & Community magazine is spotlighting the feature that resulted in the creation of Phoenix: The Salt River. There are many aspects of the river, but we’ll focus mostly on infrastructure associated with the Valley: aggregate mining, bridges, canals, and diversion dams. The Salt River, which has its headwaters in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, once flowed unrestrained through the Valley. In 1867, entrepreneur Jack Swilling formed an irrigation company that refurbished some of the canals created by the ancient Hohokam people. Swilling’s early water delivery system led to the growth of what is today the nation’s fifth-largest city. The completion of Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River in 1911 provided valuable water storage to the young city. Five more storage dams were built upstream of the Valley, on the Salt and Verde rivers. By the 1940s, most of the Salt River’s flow was rerouted into canals at Granite Reef Diversion Dam. While the Valley flourished economically with this dependable water supply for farming and urban development, the Salt River did not. The river, once a vibrant greenbelt for wildlife and residents, became a dry, barren riverbed. The lifeless river suffered further ignominy, becoming a dumping ground for the Valley’s refuse.


But things began to change 25 years

“Post-industrial wildlife habitat” sounds like an oxymoron, but not at the 595-acre Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. The five-mile section of the Salt River, from 28th Street downstream to 19th Avenue, has been reborn as a lush forest that is home to more than 200 species of birds and animals.

The renewal began in 1993 when the city of Phoenix partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the $84 million Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Project. The project, which was completed in 2005, transformed the blighted river corridor that now has 16 miles of hiking and biking trails. Some of the trails feature curb and gutter remnants, recycled as unique benches. The most vital ingredient, water, was supplied by storm drains, irrigation returns, and five supply wells that tap a non-potable floodplain aquifer to create flow in this section of the Salt River. The riparian habitat was improved by removing 1,185 tons of tires and more than 135,000 cubic yards of debris to create a recreational destination near Downtown Phoenix. For those more into green buildings than greenbelts, the crown jewel of the project is the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, located off Central Avenue just south of the Salt River. The nature center’s home is a Platinum LEED building that opened in 2009 and features solar power, waste-water recycling, rainfall capture, and low-water-use fixtures. Top: Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 2019. Left: Discarded curb and gutter remnant repurposed as a bench, 2019.


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Ottawa University Expands Surprise Campus Mary Louise Long


or many years Surprise’s downtown area consisted only of City Hall, a library, and a police station. Today, with a growing campus, Ottawa University’s students are the first to live in the city center, said Mike Hoover, the city’s economic development director. In October, Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ) opened the doors of three new buildings on campus. The more than $50-million construction project includes the O’Dell Center for Athletes, Scholars arizcc.com

Hall, and OUAZ Student Union. The school is located at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza. Hoover said he hopes the presence of the student residents will increase the development of the city center. Scholars Hall was a $20-million project contracted by Wespac Construction. The 76,000-square-foot, four-story woodframed residence hall contains 83 rooms, 332 beds, four student lounges, campus security, and offices for faculty and student affairs. J.J. Stewart, a project manager at Wespac Construction, said: “the development that is sparked with the growth of Ottawa University is exciting for the further development of that area.”

A partnership between the City of Surprise and OUAZ helped to fast track some of the building process, “including inspections and some of those aspects that are usually cumbersome,” Stewart said. “Overall, the build and development of Scholars Hall was fairly simple and didn’t raise any more issues than normal when working with a wood frame. The amazing part to me, as a builder, is the benefit a project brings to the community,” he said. As for the O’Dell Athletic Center, the Top: The O’Dell Center for Athletics under construction on the Ottawa University Surprise campus. Arizona Contractor & Community

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CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Projects Center is two walking tracks. Tyner said the tracks were one aspect of the building the city requested to fulfill the absence of a mall or community center where members can walk and get away from the summer heat. The OUAZ Student Union is a $7 million, 27,000-square-foot, two-story building that houses a sleek new dining hall, the OUAZ Fan Shop, student lounge, and recreational areas, and the Surprise Community Conference Center to host meetings and conferences. OUAZ opened its West Valley residential campus in fall 2017 and is a private, not-for-profit Baptist liberal arts university

founded in Ottawa, Kansas, in 1865. Mary Louise Long is a reporter at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Top: The O’Dell Center for Athletics under construction on the Ottawa University Surprise campus. Below left: Scholars Hall under construction on the Ottawa University Surprise campus. Below: The O’Dell Center for Athletics on the Ottawa University Surprise campus.

Images courtesy of Author

building consists of three sections: a recreation center for both the university and the Surprise community, a three-court gym complete with three optional hanging partitions, and a private weight room for the OUAZ sports teams. There is also an entire floor of sports and media department offices and football viewing rooms. OUAZ President Dennis Tyner said he hopes the community can use the recreational space for such programming as youth sports, tournaments, and more. “The O’Dell Center is very attractive to our current and potential future athletes,” Tyner said. One highlighted feature in the O’Dell


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833-231-0911 Eighteen

Jan-Feb 2020

Mary Louise Long


he struggle to find qualified skilled workers to fill the estimated 155,000 openings in the construction industry by September 2022 could result in an economic crisis, said Todd Sanders, the CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation. “It is clear economic growth will be in severe danger due to a lack of talent,” he said. To confront the crisis, the foundation hosted a launch event at Talking Stick Resort Arena in October to highlight what Build Your Future Arizona can do to educate people about career possibilities and help build the needed workforce. The organization also features a website, arizona.byf.org, that is chock full of the materials needed to be successful in building a construction career, including the average salaries, descriptions, education options, and qualifications for 20 different career paths. The website shows how to connect with people in the industry and where to get training. Videos not only introduce website users to different occupations but demonstrate how first and second career

to learn from the day they begin working, means no student loans, he said. An outdated stigma toward construction careers makes it challenging to motivate younger generations to enter the field, said Patrick Ahern, the head of human resources and talent development for Suntec Concrete, Inc. At the same time, 40 percent of the current workforce is expected to retire by 2031. “I grew up being told that ‘If you want to be successful you have to go to college,’” Ahern said. After going down the traditional path and still ending up in the construction industry, Ahern said he saw that college wasn’t the only path to success. Ahern’s 20-year-old son is now in the industry and has made his father very proud, Ahern said. Dan Puente, the CEO of DP Electric, pointed out, “you make as much if not more as someone who went to college.” According to Build Your Future Arizona, professionals in the construction field make, on average, $4,803 a year more than recent college graduates. As Brewer said, “These are great jobs that provide a great living. One where you can own a home, raise a family, and do all those things that our society considers a success.” Mary Louise Long is a reporter at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Image courtesy of Author

Below: Build Your Future Arizona launch event at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

opportunities are available and how to pursue a multitude of jobs. At the October event, Marcia Veidmark, the president and CEO of Specialized Service Company, said, “We are the ones who built it, and when there is a problem, we are the ones who come in and fix it.” She has been in the industry for five decades and has watched the construction industry become less desirable to the underinformed. Veidmark said she knows that the economic growth everyone is so proud of would not be possible without the construction industry. Mike Brewer, the founder and CEO of Brewer Companies, a commercial plumbing contractor, said he hopes to inspire talented workers to join the industry. “Arizona.byf.org gives folks an ability to find a different path to a great career,” Brewer said. Ideas Collide, a public relations firm, promotes Build Your Future Arizona on social media and around the city with billboards and transit wraps. Advertisements include information about such opportunities in trades as ironwork, roofing, welding, and carpentry, as well as testimonials of success and profit across multiple trades. Sanders, of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, pointed out that in contrast to the traditional path of college after high school graduation, those who choose to learn a trade can see immediate results and revenue. That trainees are being paid


Arizona Aims to Stem Construction Worker Shortfall


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Bowl Builders: Construction and Real Estate Community Support Fiesta Bowl Alison Bailin Batz ack in 1971, the Fiesta Bowl’s nine founders worked diligently to secure a new college football bowl game for Arizona to enhance the stature of the state with a high-profile event that would draw tourists and new residents. Today, the Bowl is known as one of the elite college football postseason games. But, not everyone knows the actual impact. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Cheez-It® Bowl, and various community events throughout the year, Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted $10 million in charitable giving the last four years and $15.5 million to the Arizona community over the previous nine years. In honor of this year’s events, which took place the last week in December, here is a look at some of the volunteers in the real estate and construction world who are active in making it happen. We also share one of the charities, in addition to the nonprofit Fiesta Bowl organization, that each member is proud to have supported this year as a result of the Fiesta Bowl’s success:

Image courtesy of Author


Current role: member of the Fiesta Bowl Committee Nonprofit: Homeward Bound, which serves the needs of more than 130 homeless families each year, providing them with housing and an in-depth program that includes financial planning, healthy relationship building, parenting, and self-improvement coaching to get clients back on their feet.

Robert F. Hart, president of AECOM Hunt Western Division Active since: 2006 Current role: member of the Fiesta Bowl committee Nonprofit: Miracle League of Arizona, which is dedicated to providing a safe, successful, and enjoyable baseball experience for children, teens, and adults with disabilities or special health care needs. The organization offers adaptive baseball at an accessible stadium, removing the barriers that would typically keep individuals off the baseball field.

Kathryn M. Moore, partner and national chair at Quarles & Brady LLP Active since: 2013 Current role: member of the Fiesta Bowl Committee Nonprofit: Arizona Burn Foundation, which provides survivor support programs that help children and adults cope with the devastating psychological and physical effects of burn injuries. It assists burn survivors and their families from crisis to recovery to a life of thriving, one day at a time.

Image courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community

Commander at Luke Air Force Base for the 310th Fighter Squadron and am currently a Blue Blazer Squadron for the Partnership. The Fighter Country Foundation & Partnership support the men, women, and families of those serving in the military at Luke Air Kirk McClure, director of business develop- Force Base. ment at Kitchell Kirk Fonfara, senior business development Active since: 2015 manager at The Weitz Company Current role: Committee Member of the Active since: 2017 Year, Team Liaison, Assistant Chair of Fiesta Current role: Team Hospitality Chair, Futures Cheez-It Bowl Cheer liaison Nonprofit: Fighter Country Foundation & Nonprofit: Wishes for Teachers presented Partnership, of which I was an Honorary by DriveTime. While not technically a nonprofit on its own, this past fall, the team banded together to donate $5,000 grants to 200 Arizona teachers to help them make some magic in their classrooms for students across the state.

Troy Hoberg, first vice president of project development at AECOM Hunt Active since: 2006 arizcc.com

Justin Naber, west coast regional director of L. Keeley Construction Active since: 2018 Current role: Co-Chair of the Par 3 Golf committee; Co-Chair of VIP Hospitality Nonprofit: HopeKids, which provides ongoing events, activities, and a robust, unique support community for families who have a child with cancer or some other life-threatening medical condition.

Top: Fiesta Bowl Float, 2019. Left: Fiesta Bowl Fashion Parade with ASU students at Sun Devil Stadium, 1971. Arizona Contractor & Community

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833-231-0911 Twenty Two




Carly Hanson


hristia Gibbons is my favorite memory of college - and my writing career. She was my instructor for Intermediate Reporting, or the dreaded “301” class, as students at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication know it. I think of it as the sink-or-swim course of our degree, where the name of the game is delivering many different stories, on tight deadlines, with few mistakes and no excuses. I spent the night before the semester began reading the reviews on my soonto-be professors, paying particular attention to Christia, as she was rumored to be quite tough. I was relieved to meet her in person, even though she still intimidated me. In her introduction, she made it clear that we would either spend the semester on her good side or her bad side. The choice was ours. Once the assignments began, I learned very quickly what her expectations were and how to write a hard-hitting, no-nonsense news story. She blew me away with her ability to spot issues within a given piece, whether they were simple conventional flaws or full-blown factual errors. Others have been impressed with Christia’s skills too. “Christia is one of those rare editors who can take a writer’s work to the next level while still preserving the unique voice and character of the piece,” Katie Mayer, a former co-worker, concurs. “She also has a keen eye for catching mistakes and holes in stories. The daughter of another great journalist [her father was the editor of the Arizona Daily Star in the 1980s], Christia was born for this field.” One of the most memorable lessons

she taught me was to avoid ambiguity. She started class one day by addressing a commonly used word that grinds her journalist gears: “Re-cent-ly.” It left her lips as if she would roll it up in a ball and stomp on it if she could. “What does that mean? Did it happen yesterday? Two weeks ago? A year ago?” she asked us. Don’t leave your reader guessing, ever. Five minutes into class, I learned something so simple, but so important. Just as she expected our stories to be, she was straightforward, concise, and bold. She also taught me to be more curious and persistent, traits that prove valuable in journalism, but even more so, in life. While working on a story for her class, I received some pushback from a source for the first time. I came to her for advice, and she casually responded, “Well, that just means you’re onto something,” then told me to press on. When I think of Christia, I think of someone who will step into a given situation with a plan to get what she wants... and then she does. But she always does it with heart, all the integrity in the world, and probably a latte in hand. “Cronkite students were fortunate to learn from her in the classroom,” Mayer agrees. “Personally, I was fortunate to work with her at The East Valley Tribune when it was a thriving daily metro paper, and as a freelance journalist, we have continued to collaborate. Her energy and passion inspire reporters to reach their full potential.” Christia thankfully thought of me when ACC magazine needed a writing and social media intern in 2017. I was close to graduating and wanted more experience. Because of her, I’ve been able to work with individuals at the publication who are lively and creative. When the semester in Christia’s reporting class ended, I thought back to that terrifying first day. I realized that even though


Christia Gibbons, ACC’s ASU Cronkite School Liaison, Retires

I worked tirelessly and faced my fair share of hurdles, I would do it again to have a teacher and friend like Christia. I couldn’t think of a better mentor than someone who expected a great deal from me, but also told me every single day I could and would succeed. She was exactly that, and she’ll bring that once-in-a-blue-moon presence wherever she chooses to go from here. Editor’s Note: Christia, thanks for the many years of collaboration with our magazine, and giving us the opportunity to publish the works of your talented journalism students. Best of luck in your next adventure! By the way, we have you on speed dial for some upcoming special assignments.

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Construction Veteran Ofus Bingham Dies William Horner


he Arizona construction industry lost a veteran with the passing of Ofus Lee Bingham on November 6, 2019, in Tonopah, Arizona. Ofus was married for 67 years to his wife, Myrna, and was a personal family friend, dating back to the 1950s when he and my grandfather, Bill R. Horner, met building roads in northern Arizona. Ofus was born on June 2, 1932, in Arkansas. After leaving the Navy in 1950, Ofus moved to California, where he worked leveling farmland. He moved to Arizona the following year to do similar work for Jack Kleck. In 1953, Ofus joined the Local 428 Operating Engineers, where he excelled as a heavy equipment operator. For the next 30 years, Ofus and his two brothers, Nate and Zeke, worked construction throughout Arizona. After my father, Billy Joe Horner, finished high school, he worked as a guinea hopper for Ofus while both were employed at Mesa Paving and remained good friends. When I entered construction fulltime in 1995, I worked for Topaz Contracting, owned by Ofus and his son, Mark. The Bingham’s called me “Little” Billy Horner, so there wouldn’t be any confusion with my father or grandfather. My dad warned me to work hard and not embarrass him. I took those words to heart. Topaz was contracted to M.R. Tanner at the time, which was building Sun City

Grand. Ofus and Mark liked to arrive early to the job site and inspect the equipment before work. They gave me a ride every morning, even though it was out of their way. I was always waiting outside when Ofus arrived, per my father’s instructions. Sitting between the two in the front of the pickup, I recall Ofus drove with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake—not a recommended method! Ofus had an impact on many construction careers. When I first operated a water truck on the Chandler subdivision project, I didn’t realize the spray flew over the sidewalks. Ofus patiently showed me where to position the truck properly and, if needed, to use a pipe wrench to adjust the spray heads. Today, I still carry a pipe and hydrant wrench in my toolbox in case the

opportunity arises to teach these insights. In 1978, Ofus purchased a 140G Caterpillar blade from Empire Machinery and continued as an owner-operator until he retired in 2008. A Celebration of Life for Ofus was held in Laveen, hosted by Nancy and Chuck, his daughter and son-in-law. More than 50 family members and friends watched a slideshow of Ofus’s life, enjoyed homecooked food, and shared a special memory of our close friend. Ofus was generous and gladly passed on his construction knowledge with others. He once told me that a lot of seasoned operators don’t do this because they are worried the newcomers will take their job. Ofus was so experienced and confident that this was not a concern. I last saw Ofus in 2010, when I interviewed him for an article that was published in the Summer 2013 issue of ACC magazine. He thought my idea of a construction publication was nuts, but he obliged me. His wife, Myrna, recalled her early days with Ofus working on road jobs far from home. “We traveled around the state like a bunch of gypsies,” she says with a chuckle. “But that was the price of chasing road work in the 1950s.” Numerous members of the Horner family worked with Ofus in the industry. I hope he was as proud of us as we were of him.

Images courtesy of Author

Top: Ofus Bingham running a Cat D8 dozer for Fisher Contracting, 1957. Left: Billy Horner with Ofus Bingham and his third blade, a Caterpillar 140H blade, 2010. arizcc.com

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t’s not surprising to find references to construction techniques in our ancient books, including the Bible. In this continuing series of articles, I will discuss some construction techniques presented in that book, which are still in use. The Plumb Bob/Plumb Line (Amos 7:7-9) The Book of Amos compares building a straight wall to having a “straight nation,” which is an interesting analogy that anyone working in construction might understand. A plumb bob is simply a heavy weight, that when attached to a string (plump line), is pulled straight by gravity. This instrument allows a builder to see if a wall or post is straight by determining if the top and bottom deviation from the straight line is the same. In surveying, the plumb bob is made so that it points to an exact location. The plumb bob is manufactured from magnetic-free material so that it isn’t influenced any local magnetic conditions. During college, I worked building fences and needed a method to determine if the post I was installing was straight. I learned quickly that variations in ground elevations, shadows, time of day, and distractions could influence my opinion of whether the post was straight. Using a carpenter level was not feasible, as it was too bulky to carry around and could be easily damaged. My solution was to create a plumb bob/plumb line similar to what the ancient builders might have used. I took a piece of string and tied on a heavy nut, which I could store in my pocket and use when I was ready to backfill the post to make sure it was straight. My homemade plumb bob/ plumb line was certainly not pretty, but it was portable, cheap, and easy to use. In light of the history of this technique, the Civil Engineers Honor Society (called Chi Epsilon) gives out a wooden plumb bob to students to carry with them. The wooden plump bob is meant to emphasize the “principles of scholarship, character, practicality, and sociability...in the civil engineering profession,” according to the Constitution and Bylaws of Chi Epsilon. Thus, the plumb bob helps the candidate realize that their work as a student, and later, as a professional, must measure up to the highest standards. The wooden plumb bob is nonfunctional; however, arizcc.com


Luke Snell

most Chi Epsilon members keep them as sites, this method is still widely used a reminder of the honor of being selected because it is simple to set up and assures and the standard to be maintained in our the builder that the walls are straight. profession. When I was building fences, it was essential to keep the post in line with feaString Line (Isaiah 44:13) tures such as a boundary line. After estabA plumb line is a way to determine if lishing the beginning and end points, I what you are building is vertically straight. would stretch a line. As we set the posts, A string line is used to make sure what we would bring them to the edge, without you are building lines up or is horizontally touching it, to assure the fence was straight straight. This technique uses a starting and and on the correct side of the boundary ending point and stretches a line between line. the two locations. Thus, the builder has Keeping vertical and horizontal control a reference line to use throughout the during construction has always been necconstruction. essary. Early builders found that the plumb This technique is used to build a bob/plumb line and the string line provided masonry wall. The builder will secure a line the needed accuracy. In modern times, at the beginning and ending points, typidespite many technical advancements, cally located on the plans and by the surthese simple techniques are still used. The veyor. As the laborers build the wall, they simplicity, low cost, and the ease of set up will keep the masonry a fraction of an inch make these “old techniques” a useful way from the line. They must be careful not to to keep our construction straight and in touch the line, or the wall will no longer be line. straight. The string line has been used to layout complex construction too. Some early uses of string lines were in the development of the Egyptian pyramids, and walls around our first cities. On modern construction

Left: A brass plumb bob. Below: Masonry worker using a plumb bob on the construction of Coulter Cadillac, Camelback Rd. and 12th St., 1970.

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Construction in the Bible: Techniques

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Twenty Eight



Jan-Feb 2020

Tim Mages

Here is your “Preparing for a Recession” checklist:


Your Recession-Proof Checklist

1. Cash is King: Part of the challenge with a recession is we never know in advance t’s easy to forget that the 2008-2009 how it will impact the business. It is easy recession was just a decade ago. Today, to think about direct impacts to your the national unemployment rate in the U.S. revenue from a slowing economy, but sits at only 3.7 percent — a far cry from how will your business hold up if a custhe record-high 10 percent hit in 2009. tomer goes bankrupt and can’t pay for Although there is no stock-buying mania work already completed by your comon Main Street like there was in 1999, and pany? Or a supplier is unable to meet no economic promise that “this time is difyour needs, and immediate short-term ferent” — we cannot forget that millions of alternatives double your initial cost estiAmericans learned their lessons the hard mates? Your cash reserve, whether it way. is cash on hand or availability through As the CFO of a small business lender, your lenders, is first and foremost in I am continually working with my team to managing any challenges. determine ways we can lessen the impact of a future recession on our business and 2. Measure Productivity: Balance declinactions that put your contract at risk. our clients’ business. First and foremost, ing top-line trends by identifying as Consider any one customer comprising it comes down to planning. It’s often said, many variable costs in your business over 10 percent of your total revenue a “don’t ride the highs too high or the lows as possible, including underperformliability and work now to diversify. too low.” A team’s ability to prepare in ers. During the 2008/2009 downturn, advance by taking steps that lessen the many businesses planned for a 15 per- 5. Reduce Leverage: Now is a difficult recessionary impact is critical for small cent decrease in revenue to equate to a time to “take-on” additional debt/leverbusinesses everywhere. 15 percent reduction in payroll. In realage to acquire equity interests of other Wall Street and financial mavericks ity, this turned deadly. As downward owners, execute on an acquisition, or and mavens can argue all day about when trends continued and sales dropped to enter into a risky project with a longthe next recession will hit, but the real30 to 40 percent, it was a challenge for term payback. Many companies took on ity is, economies fluctuate, and another businesses to catch up. Prepare for the large amounts of debt during 2007, only recession is not an if but a when. Here long term by identifying ways for the to encounter many challenges over the are some thoughts to help small business entire team to do more with less from next 4 to 7 years dealing with reduced owners plan early and to manage or navithe start. revenue and the impact of meeting gate through the next downturn. Like anyobligations to debt holders. Our comthing in life, it is easier to fix your problems 3. Assess your Meaningful Suppliers: If pany is continually examining financial you have not recently assessed your here and now, alongside a stiff economic projection stress tests to assess our meaningful suppliers, now may be a tailwind, versus being reactive during the overhead feasibility at various leverage good time to review their market posinext downturn. While not exhaustive, each levels should revenue decrease. tion. Research what other customers thought provides steps to consider. are saying about your supplier, have 6. Shop for options ahead of time: discussions with them and their prepaBetween 2008 and 2012, 465 banks rations for a downturn and pull data, nationwide failed. If your company or review industry sources to assess relies only on lines of credit from your their business performance and risk. bank, consider the impact of your bank These inquiries are good business pracclosing or shutting off lending to your tice even in growth years but become industry segment. Make the time to even more critical ahead of a recestalk to alternative financing sources, sion. Nothing can disrupt your business like Expansion Capital Group. Should an and your reputation more than a supimmediate need emerge that requires plier that you rely on suddenly having a additional capital, be sure to have your major “hiccup.” Don’t allow the success options identified and understood or failure of your suppliers to define the beforehand, rather than when you’re in fate of yours. a pinch.


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4. Manage Customer Concentration: Diversifying your customer base could be the difference between exiting a recession strong or “limping” into the next growth cycle. A multi-billion-dollar customer that is 30 percent of your business is a liability, not a safety net. While your high performing customers will likely survive a recession, the financial strain could pressure them to take arizcc.com

Tim Mages is the Chief Financial Officer of Expansion Capital Group, a business dedicated to serving American small businesses by providing access to capital and other resources so they can grow and achieve their definition of success. Since its inception, ECG has provided approximately $350 million in capital to over 12,000 small businesses nationwide. Arizona Contractor & Community

Back When Bully for Roosevelt Dam! DOUGLAS TOWNE


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& Community

heodore Roosevelt was a busy man when he arrived in Phoenix in 1911 to dedicate the dam named after him. He had championed the passage of a federal reclamation act in 1902, which spurred dam construction nationwide. Theodore Roosevelt Dam was the first federal reclamation project, and was built as a masonry structure. Cement was hauled to the dam site by R.C. Tanner in a horse-drawn wagon, a round trip which took five days. Roosevelt Dam, located on the Salt River just downstream of Tonto Creek, was a game-changer for Arizona because it provided a sustainable water and power source for the Valley. On the day of dedication, a crowd of more than 1,000 people greeted the former

president and cheered as he was given an 11-gun salute. After a speech, Roosevelt pressed a button that released water from the dam’s sluice gates for the first time. Roosevelt presided over other ceremonies during his visit to Arizona, including the dedication of an infirmary that provided medical services for tuberculosis suffers. The clinic would eventually become St. Luke’s Hospital in Phoenix. The boisterous Roosevelt relished all the attention he received in Arizona. His gravitation to the spotlight was not lost on his daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth. “My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening,” she said.


Background: Water being released from Roosevelt Dam, 1911. Left: Former President Teddy Roosevelt at Roosevelt Dam dedication ceremony, 1911. courtesy of Library of Congress ArizonaImage Contractor & Community

Joint Head Dam:

The Valley’s Forgotten “Salt” Water Diversion Tom Yount

Installation of Joint Head Dam pumping plant, 1926.

Thirty Two

Jan-Feb 2020


Images courtesy of SRP Research Archiv es

respassing in the interest of history is acceptable, right? That was my thought as I made my best Indiana Jones impression and shuffled down the embankment of the Grand Canal, into the dry Salt River, towards the remains of the Joint Head Dam. Joint Head Dam dates to the pioneer days of Phoenix, as the irrigation water it diverted played a vital role in the growth and development of the Salt River Valley. The dam’s construction marked one of the earliest efforts to integrate the Valley’s north-side canal systems, which previously each had their own diversion dams. So, of course, I had to see it for myself. These pioneers, possessing limited means of construction, followed the lead of the ancient Hohokam civilization and built their diversion dams on the Salt River with what was readily available: rock, brush, and earth. They soon learned that these materials could not hold up to rushing water brought on by heavy rains and seasonal flooding. The floods in the late 1870s and early 1880s washed away diversion dams at the Joint Head site, destroyed headgates, ruined crops, and silted in canals. The Salt River Valley Canal Company and neighboring Maricopa Canal Company decided to improve their irrigation systems together in March 1884. These companies constructed a diversion dam they hoped would withstand floodwaters and allow for consistent water levels in their canals. An outcrop of bedrock where 50th Street (if extended) currently intersects the Salt River was selected for the diversion dam. This location would allow the dam to be built with a solid foundation, and at a site the Hohokam had also used to divert water. The new “Joint Head Dam” was sturdier than previous efforts by either company, but the diversion structure was still susceptible to damage from high flows on the Salt River. Granite Reef Diversion Dam, which was completed upstream of the Joint Head Dam in 1908, became the main diversion dam used by the Salt River Project. However, SRP continued to use Joint Head Dam, though in a supplemental role, diverting seepage water returned from irrigated lands in the East Valley. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation rebuilt Joint Head Dam with concrete and steel in 1913.


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The new dam, with a broad concrete apron below to prevent erosion of its toe, cost $39,529 to construct. The dam created a popular, though hazardous, swimming and fishing hole upstream. “Sunday drownings were common,” noted a 1958 article in The Arizona Republic. Joint Head Dam continued to make headlines, even in its minor role. During World War II, German prisoners of war at a camp in Papago Park escaped on Christmas

Eve in 1944, according to a 1969 article in the Republic. The first POW to be recaptured had wandered onto the dam site, wet and cold from the evening’s storms. He surrendered to the onsite dam tender, who then alerted the unaware authorities of the POW escape. The dam ceased operations and was decommissioned in December 1954. The occupancy license for Joint Head Dam’s tender house located northeast of the

dam, however, was left in place. The dam tender’s function was to maintain the dam site and to ensure no theft or destruction occurred on the property. Unfortunately, quite the opposite transpired over the years. SRP received reports of vandalism, drugs, subletting, feuds, and other bizarre incidents occurring at the site. The residence was destroyed by fire, under questionable circumstances, in 1978. SRP removed additional structures from the dam site in 1984. The dam itself was taken out in 2004 in conjunction with the construction of a maintenance and storage facility to serve Valley Metro Light Rail. However, the dam’s headgate structure was left undisturbed by the development. After my visit to view the remains of the headgate, I came away with a better sense of Phoenix history and, more importantly, without a trespassing charge.

Images courtesy of Author

Top: Construction of Valley Metro Light Rail near Joint Head Dam. Left, and below: Remnants of Joint Head Dam.

Thirty Four

Jan-Feb 2020


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Phoenix’s Center Street Bridge:

Long and Long Gone Douglas C. Towne


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n the cusp of statehood in 1911, Arizona was ready to break free of its second-class Territorial status and assume its rightful place on the national stage. This event was a momentous transition that Valley leaders planned to celebrate by christening a bridge over the unruly waters of the Salt River, which had long separated the north and south halves of the settlement. The debate between Phoenix and Tempe politicos on where to build such a span resulted in one of the most heated political battles in Maricopa County history. Ultimately, it was a fruitful discussion, yielding a 2,120-foot-long, Valley-unifying artery that leaders

trumpeted as the longest reinforced concrete bridge in the world. That this engineering marvel, dubbed the Center Street Bridge after its location along what is today Central Avenue, was funded by a Valley community numbering fewer than 18,000 residents – most of whom traveled over dirt streets in horsedrawn carriages – makes it even more amazing. U.S. Senator Carl Hayden, who represented the state in Washington D.C. for 57 years, would tell the Phoenix Gazette in 1966, “I doubt if there were more than 100 automobiles in Maricopa County when the bridge was completed.”

The road to bridging the Salt River was long and tumultuous. The watercourse varied from a trickle to a torrent and sometimes unleashed devastating floods. Often, it was a considerable challenge to cross. Political pressure to span the river, which dated to the community’s earliest days, spiked in 1903 when the federal government authorized construction of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam, located roughly 70 miles upstream. Beginning in 1900, Tempe and Phoenix jousted vigorously over which community would be the site of the first vehicle bridge over the Salt River. The debate was so contentious that even a “Harmony Committee” assembled in 1908 failed to agree upon a location. “The Tempe bridge site is boomed on merit, the Center Street site with money,” stated an advertisement in The Arizona Republican newspaper in 1909. Limited funds precluded the building of two bridges. A bridge at Center Street would be an engineering challenge. The wider river channel would require a longer span than at the Tempe location, and the structure would be built on sand; not bedrock. However, a bridge here would also lead directly to a 7,000-acre parcel south of the river Top: Center Street Bridge, 1911. Left: Center Street Bridge postcard, 1911. Right: Vinson Construction Co. building the second Central Avenue Bridge, 1949.

Thirty Six

Jan-Feb 2020


Arizona Contractor & Community

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owned by businessman Dwight B. Heard, who championed the site. On a fundraising trip to Washington, D.C., Heard learned that if the Valley could pledge one-half the cost of the proposed $100,000 bridge, government funds would be available to complete the project, according to a 1966 Arizona Republic article. Heard donated $20,000, $15,000 came from assessments on other landowners south of the river, Phoenix merchants contributed $5,000, and $10,000 was pledged in labor by Juan Sol, the head of the Gila River Indian Community. The remaining $50,000 came from Maricopa County. In 1909, a hotly contested county election about the bridge site was narrowly decided in favor of Phoenix over Tempe. “The Tempe site was narrower and had bedrock to form a sturdy basis for a bridge,” the late Jim Wheat said in 2012. “But the Phoenix site was championed by Heard. In the end, political influence persevered over better site conditions.” The two-lane Center Street Bridge was built, without any bonded indebtedness, by the Mercereau Bridge and Construction Company of Los Angeles. Piles were driven 30 feet below the sandy river bed and anchored to concrete pillars 60 feet apart. “When the bridge was being built in 1910, rather than travel several miles from Phoenix each day, the construction superintendent [J.F. Hess] rented a room from my grandfather’s family who lived where First Avenue dead-ended just north of the Salt River,” said Wheat. His grandfather, James Kellogg Wheat, founded an 85-acre plant nursery there after moving from Minnesota Thirty eight

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Left: The new Central Avenue Bridge looking towards Downtown Phoenix, 1949. Below: Vinson Construction Co. invitation to the grand opening of the Central Avenue Bridge, 1949. Bottom: Teenagers looking at bridge damage from the flood, 1966.

Jan-Feb 2020

in 1897. Following the death of his first wife, Wheat remarried, and his son from that marriage, DeWitt Wheat, became a celebrity during the bridge construction. “To start the concrete pour on the bridge surface, the company had 3-yearold DeWitt push a toy wheelbarrow which had a small amount of material,” Jim Wheat said. “He led a line of construction workers pushing loaded wheelbarrows across the bridge. My father actually got to dump the first bit of concrete on the bridge.” “That would never get to happen on a construction site today,” he added with a laugh. Within a year of starting construction, the structure was finished. According to a 1966 Republic article, while there were longer bridges in existence, the Center Street Bridge was the longest reinforced concrete bridge in the world. Heard and former President Theodore Roosevelt were passengers in the lead car crossing the new bridge at the opening celebration on March 19, 1911. Roosevelt called it a “great bridge,” according to a 1966 Gazette article. “It shows what men may accomplish by working together,” the president added. The bridge was an immediate success, though early traffic tended to be of the motor-less variety. “No vehicle shall be ridden or drawn at greater speed than 12 miles per hour over Center Street Bridge,” declared a Maricopa County resolution passed July 17, 1911. The structure facilitated the development of south Phoenix and afforded increased leisure opportunities to city dwellers. “South Mountain Park became popular for picnics and horseback riding after its completion,” says William Linsenmeyer, an 82-year-old retired history professor who grew up in Phoenix. Flows beneath the bridge gradually decreased with the completion of six upstream storage dams on the Salt and Verde rivers between 1911 and 1946, but fishing reports at the Center Street Bridge were carried in the Arizona Republican as late as 1923. The bridge was damaged by floods in 1922, 1938, and 1941 but still used. A new two-lane bridge to handle increasing traffic was built to the east of the original structure by the Vinson Construction Co. of Phoenix in 1949. The new bridge served northbound vehicles; the old bridge carried southbound traffic. In 1966, floodwaters irreparably damaged the 1911 structure, and it was closed. All vehicles were routed onto the 1949 bridge, resulting in traffic congestion to and from south Phoenix for a decade. Both bridges were eventually razed and replaced arizcc.com

by the present Central Avenue Bridge, completed in 1976. To celebrate the new bridge, bands from South Mountain and St. Mary’s high schools led Phoenix residents from each side of the Salt River to a dedication ceremony at the bridge’s halfway point, once again symbolically uniting the city. Although the original Center Street Bridge is long gone, a part of the landscape it crossed has been brought back to life. Today’s Central Avenue Bridge spans a verdant riparian area thanks to the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Project and the Nina

Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, which opened in 2009. Wetlands were created via non-potable groundwater and storm drains, partially recreating the landscape that existed in 1911. The project provides critical habitat for more than 200 animal species and a unique desert forest near downtown. “The river is gone,” says former Audubon Executive Director Sarah Porter, explaining her group’s mission. “Someone has to tell its story.”


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The Ponte Milvio: Leonard Monti’s Plan to Bring an Italian Medieval Bridge to Tempe Jay Mark


Born in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1912, Monti came to Arizona in 1947 after World War II service on an aircraft carrier. He opened Monti’s Grill in Chandler, which became a popular eatery in the East Valley. In 1954, Monti purchased the oldest building in Tempe. Constructed by Charles Trumbull Hayden beginning in 1872, La Casa Vieja as it came to be called, was for years the center of activity in the tiny town of Tempe. Until 1891, it was the Hayden household – the place where son Carl was born. Amongst many lifetime accomplishments, Carl Hayden would also become the longest-serving member of Congress. Over the years, La Casa Vieja served as a boarding house, hotel, general store, and restaurant. By the time Monti acquired the historic property, it had been exclusively a restaurant for half-a-century. When

he reopened it in 1956 as Monti’s La Casa Vieja, Leonard was ready to take it to a new level. Over the years, Monti populated the place with antiques, artifacts, autographed celebrity photos, and other memorabilia – a veritable museum of local history. Patrons remember the restaurant as much for its steaks, chops, ribs and special Roman bread, as for its colorful owner, Leonard Monti. Monti made daily hikes to the top of Tempe Butte with a friend, Hayden C. Hayden, Carl’s nephew. However, Monti was known for offsetting exercise with a bit Left: Leonard Monti opened Tempe’s popular La Casa Vieja Restaurant in 1956. Below: Lake Havasu City’ London Bridge probably inspired Monti’s attempt to bring Rome’s Ponte Milvio bridge to Tempe.

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Monti Image courtesy of Michael

erein lies the tale of a man who had a dream so big it would span a river. It is the outrageous story of how Arizona might just have become the Western world’s home for discarded ancient European bridges. The protagonist of this novel account is one Leonard Fiorello Monti – a flamboyant restaurateur who was as memorable as his steaks.


Jan-Feb 2020

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Top: An 18th-century engraving of the Ponte Milvio, a nearly 20-century-old Roman bridge. Right: London Bridge at Lake Havasu, 1970s. arizcc.com

Italy and knew the country well. He didn’t want to buy just any old bridge. He had his eyes set on Rome’s oldest span – the Ponte Milvio – a stone bridge dating to 115 B.C. Michael Monti, who took over the

restaurant after his father’s death in 1997, said his dad, “…always made a point of visiting that bridge when in Rome.” The bridge was replaced in 109 B.C. and was the site of a famous battle between

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of the bottle with his buddies. Likely fueled by a tad too many glasses of Italian Red imbibed with his drinking pals, Leonard came up with what seemed an outrageously impossible, but innovative scheme. It could have been inspired by an upstart town’s stab at gaining a foothold in the barren, hostile desert along the Colorado River. This highly publicized stunt involved disassembling a decaying old bridge in London, moving it across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal to Long Beach, California, and then by trucks – many trucks – to Lake Havasu, Arizona, and reassembling it stone by stone. As Monti began to think about it, just like Lake Havasu City, Tempe had a river running along its edge. But unlike Lake Havasu, Tempe already had three historic bridges crossing it. Why not one more? If Lake Havasu could lay claim to a mere second-hand 19th century London bridge, why couldn’t Tempe best them by acquiring a really ancient span? Of Italian heritage, Monti often visited

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Constantine I and Maximus in 312 A.D. It was renovated in the 15th century and modified in the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the incredibly historic bridge that Monti would try to acquire for Tempe. He told his pals that by using his powerful, persuasive Italian roots and personality, he could convince the mayor of Rome to sell him that city’s most ancient crossing – thereby cleverly outdoing Lake Havasu. So, eight years after Robert P. McCullough cut the ribbon on the reopening of the London Bridge and put Lake Havasu on the map, Leonard Monti hoped that lightning could strike twice when he wrote this letter:

Sr.” and instead used his full name, Leonard FIORELLO Monti to underscore his Italian heritage.” And then Leonard waited and waited for a response from Mayor Argan. The Rome mayor was a Marxist art historian, University of Rome professor, and specialist in Italian art who served between 1976 and 1979 as the city’s first Communist mayor. Eleven months later, after what may or may not have been due consideration on the Mayor’s part, Monti at long last got his answer, tersely written in Italian – graciously translated here by Michael Monti.

“I am sorry, my dear Mr. Monti, but the ancient Milvian Bridge, despite the terrible condition it is in, is of great historical importance to Rome and is not for sale. With warm regards, Giulio Carlo Argan” The whole proposal never really made any sense. For example, apparently, Leonard never gave much thought to the details of the bridge he was offering to purchase. At 446 feet in length, it was less than a third

January 26, 1979 The Honorable Mario Argan The Mayor of Rome Rome, Italy Honorable Sir: We submit a proposal that a group of us here purchase the Ponte Milvio. There is genuine need for a strong, durable bridge to span the Rio Salado at the City of Tempe. There is precedent for the proposal. Arizonans have purchased the old London Bridge and reconstructed it here in the northwestern part of the state. However, it serves merely as a tourist attraction. The Milvio Bridge would be a real service in providing a road over the frequently raging Rio Salado. It is felt that the Ponte Milvio, having withstood the turbulence of the Tiber and invasions of predatory armies for seventeen hundred years, not only will serve as an excellent crossing, but will be of intense historic interest to Christians and non-Christians alike, as it has been since Constantine the Great first saw the symbol of the crosses in the sky while battling Maxentius at the bridge. In addition, your great bridge will be a source of wonder and instruction for American engineers, who will at last be able to examine the ways in which a truly strong and long- lasting river crossing actually can be built. I write this letter for myself and my friends with special pride and emotion inasmuch as my ancestors helped to construct that splendid engineering triumph. Respectfully yours, Leonard Fiorello Monti Michael Monti notes, “…that my father, in closing the…letter, deviated from his typical signature of “Leonard F. Monti, Forty two

Jan-Feb 2020

ael Monti Images courtesy of Mich

the width of the Salt River at the time. The Milvian Bridge, if relocated, would have been an island in the middle of the river channel. Oh, but what an island it would have made. Michael summed up his father’s escapade by saying, “The grand sweep of history--and grandiosity--were both in my dad’s blood. I don’t think he even remotely believed it was for sale, but he was inspired by the story of the London Bridge at Lake Havasu to float a trial balloon.” And thus, ended Leonard Monti’s bold, but futile attempt to bring another ancient bridge to the rivers of Arizona. Right: Monti’s proposal to the Mayor of Rome to move that city’s oldest bridge to Tempe. And the negative response from the Mayor of Rome about Monti’s offer.

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Roads of Gold:

How Phoenix’s Canals Shape the Valley’s Past and Future Jeff Kronenfeld


azing at Phoenix from a mountaintop near sunset, its 131 miles of canals gleam like roads of gold. In addition to supplying water, which in the parched desert is almost as valuable as the precious yellow metal, the canal corridors are used for transportation, recreation, and host cultural works and events. The fascinating history of these waterways mirrors the Valley’s own growth from agricultural outpost Above: Tree-lined lateral in Phoenix, 1890s. Forty four

to a major metropolitan area. Exciting projects continue to use these man-made rivers to reimagine the landscape, just as their creators did centuries ago when first carving them from hard desert clay with rock and wood tools. Some envision the canals crowned with floating hydroponic gardens or covered by solar panels. For the ancestral Sonoran Desert people who began digging them around 250 A.D., however, constructing and maintaining the roughly 500 miles of gravity-fed canals and laterals was itself a technological marvel. The steady supply

of water allowed the Hohokam population to swell to 50,000 and drove the construction of massive dwellings to house them, such as Pueblo Grande in Phoenix. “They were the only indigenous North American population to use irrigation to this magnitude and this scale,” explained Leah Harrison, the Salt River Project (SRP) manager for research, archives, and heritage. In 1867, a former Confederate soldier once accused of being a stagecoach bandit, Jack Swilling, and a few associates founded the Swilling Irrigation and Canal Company to restore an ancient waterway. Though Jan-Feb 2020

Top left: Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) working on canals, late 1930s. Top right: Theodore Roosevelt Dam dedication on March 18, 1911. Left: Arizona Falls on the Arizona Canal, 1900.

Images courtesy of SRP Research Archives

newer ones eventually eclipsed this canal over the following decades, it helped spur the growth of agriculture and settlement throughout the region. This canal, known as the Salt River Valley Canal or Swilling’s Ditch, may have even inspired the naming of the city of Phoenix, saving the nascent community from becoming Pumpkinville. The late 1800s brought new challenges, even with the completion of more canals, such as the 40-mile long Arizona Canal. A six-year drought that started in 1898 threatened to derail the small but growing community. Despite this, the plucky settlers refused to yield. Benjamin Fowler was sent east to lobby on the community’s behalf. With the backing of prominent reclamation supporters such as President Theodore Roosevelt, they succeeded. The Reclamation Act was signed into law in 1902. In 1903, the Salt River Valley Water Users Association, one half of what would eventually become SRP, was formed. Public financing with users’ lands as collateral allowed the construction of a dam to ensure a steady supply of water. The drought finally broke in 1905, but then a massive flood severely damaged the canal system. The cost of repairs and expansion accelerated consolidation, leading to the eventual formation of SRP. Harrison recalls, with a laugh, how President Roosevelt, when attending the dedication of the dam named in his honor, predicted the region could someday grow to have 100,000 residents, which was quickly surpassed. arizcc.com

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Over time, the canals became more than a water delivery system. Children swam in the waters in the shade of towering cottonwood trees, while others waterskied in the channels, towed by automobiles. People knew their neighborhood zanjero, a Spanish word for “ditch rider,” who manually opened canal flood gates allowing water to flow into fields. “The canals have always been a huge community gathering space,” Harrison explained. “People used to give their lateral [canal] number instead of their street address.” Continued growth led to more demand

and pushed to modernize the system. The cottonwoods were mostly removed, as they made maintenance more difficult and drank too much water. Cities and suburbs replaced farmers and fields. Canals were lined with concrete, a project only recently completed, and laterals were piped underground. Developments turned away from the waterways, which became seen as eyesores. Slowly, attitudes shifted again. Simple improvements starting in the late 1960s and continuing forward saw sidewalks added to canal banks. Machines that




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helped remove trash automatically were installed. Where once horses pulled equipment that removed plants growing in the canal, white amur fish now consume the vegetation. “I like to say the white amur are some of our best employees,” Harrison explained. Nan Ellin, then a professor at ASU in 2009, described a vision for the canals as more than a means to move water. She proposed using them for placemaking and as a linear park system. Nonprofits like Arizona Forward picked up on these ideas. Cities came on board too, as did SRP, though the latter had to balance such plans with the realities of operating the system. “These canals are working infrastructure,” explained Jim Duncan, SRP’s principal analyst for water engineering. “They’re utility corridors. We line the canals. We herd fish. We spray for weeds. We dust control. We have power facilities all over. We have to still be able to do all of that.” Arizona Falls, a power station, and the Scottsdale Waterfront Project showed the potential value of the canals as multi-use corridors. The hydroelectric power station on the Grand Canal, which generates enough energy to run 150 homes, added trails, lighting, public art, and signage. The signs not only help people navigate but also teach them about the history and operation of the system. “Water conservation is much easier when people understand where it comes from,” Duncan noted. The Scottsdale Waterfront began to take shape in the late 1990s, serving as a proving ground for new ideas for developers, the city, and SRP. Ideas that looked good on paper, such as adding side channels that would allow people to boat through Old Town Scottsdale, were discussed though not pursued due to the cost. Still, tens of millions of dollars were spent on bridges, walkways, landscaping, and public art. Skyscrapers and other multi-story residential and commercial spaces sprung up. When the time came to drain the canal Jan-Feb 2020

Images courtesy of Sean Deckert

Top left: “Reflection Rising” by Patrick Shearn at the 2018 Spring Canal Convergence. Above: “Floatus” by Walter Productions at the 2018 Spring Canal Convergence. Middle: “Desert Sun” by Jotta Studios at the 2018 Spring Canal Convergence. Top right: “Luminous Cactus” by Toby Atticus Fraley at the 2018 Spring Canal Convergence. for maintenance, concerns about economic impacts on the new waterfront led to the first Canal Convergence. The multi-day festival featuring massive immersive art installations attracted more than a quarter-million people last year, an enormous increase from the 500 who attended the inaugural event in 2012. Inspired by the canals, exhibits have consisted of massive illuminated fish floating in the air, towering mechanical flowers that follow visitors, and a series of lily pads that shot 24-foot-tall flames. This success buoyed projects like Tempe Town Lake and Phoenix’s Grand Canalscape. Today, 85 miles of the Valley’s canal system support multi-use trails, with more currently being upgraded. The system also hosts $11 million in public art. SRP and other stakeholders hope to continue these improvements, as well as integrate new technologies. Though some ideas, like floating hydroponic gardens, may not be in the cards, integrating smartphones to allow self-guided tours, adding parking to increase community access, continued investment in public art, and the expansion of trails are underway. “We have more miles of canals than Venice,” said Lori Singleton, president and CEO of Arizona Forward. “As we increase urban density, I think we’ll see more people turning to canals as a placemaking opportunity. And because we’ve turned our backs to the canals historically, the growing parts of our region have learned lessons and are opening themselves to their waterways.” arizcc.com

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Building on the Past 1961: Salt River Sand & Gravel Operations


y the 1960s, water only ran occasionally in the Salt River through Phoenix. Six upstream dams, two on the Verde River and four on the Salt River, captured most of the flow, which was eventually shunted into Valley canals at the Granite Reef Diversion Dam located by Red Mountain. The river, once a verdant green oasis that was home to a wide variety of wildlife, became a dumping ground for trash. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of activity in the dry riverbed. Thirteen mining operations were extracting deposits of sand, gravel, and rock from the riverbed between Mesa and Avondale for construction use. From east to west, the following plants were in business: Union Rock & Materials Plant 3, Southside Sand & Rock, Mesa Sand & Rock, United Materials-Mesa, Tempe Sand & Gravel, United Materials-Tempe, Valley Redi Mix Co., Arizona Sand & Rock, Union Rock & Materials Plant 1, United Materials-Phoenix, Reeves Sand & Rock, Union Rock & Materials Plant 2, and United Materials-Avondale. The finer materials were used for cement and mortar, the larger materials for foundations. An estimated 1,500 employees were working in these plants, according to a 1961 article in The Arizona Republic. The tremendous supplies of aggregates from the Salt River facilitated the Valley’s fast growth after World War II. This resource allowed Phoenix to have the nation’s lowest-priced concrete in the country, which sold for around $11.90 a yard that year. In contrast, a yard of concrete in Casa Grande sold for $16, $19 in Flagstaff, and $40 in Alaska—if you could get it.

Background: Contractor B.L. Gustafson’s crushing operations along the Salt River, south of Sky Harbor Airport, 1977. Top right: Arizona Sand & Rock Co.’s conveyor tunnel where trucks would park to be loaded with aggregate from above at Seventh and Watkins streets. Middle: Union Rock & Materials plant along the Salt River at 2800 S. Central Ave., 1980. Bottom right: The pre-mix concrete-truck fleet of the Ari­ zona Sand & Rock Co. with an enor­mous 115-foot pre-mix tower, near Seventh St. and the Salt River, 1957. Images courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community


Jan-Feb 2020


Arizona Contractor & Community

Architect’s Perspective: William Francis Cody, FAIA: Experimenter Doug Sydnor, FAIA

alented modernist California architects, many of whom studied at the University of Southern California, created some extraordinary architecture in Arizona. This group included A. Quincy Jones, Calvin C. Straub, Edward L. Varney, Fred M. Guirey, Ralph Haver, and Frederick P. Weaver. My column focuses on another California transplant: architect William “Bill” Francis Cody, FAIA. I have long respected his imaginative work, but my research revealed his far-reaching impact in Arizona. Bill Cody was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1916. His father ran a men’s clothing store, and his mother was an interior designer. It was her passion for architecture that influenced Bill’s career. She taught Bill how to sketch buildings to understand structures, how to draw house plans to understand space planning, and exposed him to outdoor, plein air painting. The Cody family moved to California to help Bill’s asthma in 1930. He designed stage sets while attending Beverly Hills High School. He attended Santa

Monica Junior College in 1939-40 and worked for architects Heath Warton and Asa Hudson. Cody then transferred to USC where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture in 1942 during World War II. At USC, he was exposed to the Bauhaus style of architecture, which influenced his minimalistic design approach. He then enlisted in the Navy but received a medical discharge. Cody married Winifred Smith in 1943, and they had three daughters. Cody subsequently worked for an engineering firm at a Kaiser Steel plant in Fontana, CA; and for Blanchard, Maher, and Ward of San Francisco in designing Navy facilities on Treasure Island. In 1944 he was hired by Marsh, Smith, and Powell of Los Angeles, and created award-winning schools in California and Arizona. He then started working in Palm Springs, beginning in 1944 with architect Cliff May on the influential Pace-Setter House, an affordable modern “ranch style” residence. Cody then renovated the Palm Springs Desert Inn in 1945. The following year, he became a licensed architect in California and Arizona. Cody’s first significant commission was the Del Marcos Hotel in Palm Springs in 1947, which received

Douglas Driggs residence, Paradise Valley, early 1970s.

Western Savings at 525 South

William Francis Cody.

Image courtesy of Douglas B. Sydnor

Saw Image courtesy of Edward

yer, Jr.



a 1949 AIA Southern California Chapter Award. Cody went on to become an influential architect specializing in modern desert architecture within California’s Coachella Valley, San Diego, and San Francisco. He was active in Arizona from 1946 to 1972, working in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott, Pinetop, Lake Havasu, and Fountain Hills. He also worked in Texas, Mexico, and Cuba. Cody worked on a variety of building types, including multifamily residential, hospitality, custom homes, educational, commercial, and religious. His residences had simple forms, minimized structural components, exploited natural light, and created a seamless indoor-outdoor relationship with large glazed openings. His daughter, Cathy, felt “as if she lived outside” in their Palm Springs home. Cody became an AIA member in 1948 and opened an office on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. He soon moved his practice to 950 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, with satellite offices in San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix. His Phoenix office closed in 1958, but Cody continued to work out of Al Beadle’s office. Edward Sawyer, Jr., AIA, who worked in Beadle’s office when Cody was there in the mid-1960s, says that there was a great deal of respect between Cody and Beadle. They shared an architectural philosophy and aesthetics and formed joint associations on Arizona and California projects. Cody involved Beadle in the 1964 Indian Wells Residential Development in Riverside County and the Mirage Cove Drive Apartments in Palm Springs.


Jan-Feb 2020

Cody received his AIA Fellowship for Design in 1965, and his nomination included three Arizona projects that are featured below: The 1961 Douglas Driggs residence, located at 7610 North Shadow Mountain Road in Paradise Valley, is a well-scaled jewel. The home connects the interior spaces with a series of outdoor patios at differing levels and the Paradise Valley Country Club golf course. The structure featured exposed burnt adobe walls and tinted fullheight window glazing to frame courtyard and sunset views. A wood-framed roof capped the house with dropped beams and high horizontal windows that filled the interiors with sunlight. Unfortunately, this home underwent a significant renovation and lost many essential characteristics. The 1962 Western Savings & Loan at 525 South Mill Avenue in Tempe was a pavilion-like structure with a strong street presence created by a thin, high, lightweight concrete roof, with linear cutouts at each tapered column. Recessed under this canopy were glazed storefronts and buff-colored brick and concrete slump block walls. The building had elegant and sophisticated proportions, which created a welcoming feel for patrons. Leased offices occupied the upper level. The building has since been demolished. The 1966 Weir McDonald residence is located at 6969 North Tatum Boulevard in Paradise Valley. The home was unusual as it had one bedroom with a private theater and a two-car, open carport. Residence forms step down the rolling site with an exposed steel frame structure and Mill Ave. in Tempe, mid 1960s.

A stroke limited his work in the 1970s. He died in Palm Springs in 1978. Douglas B. Sydnor, FAIA, is Principal at Douglas Sydnor Architect and Associates, Inc. and author of three architectural books. Other Arizona projects: • 1946 Housing, Flagstaff • 1947 Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff • 1947 City Hall, Flagstaff • 1947 Municipal Airport Administration Building, Flagstaff • 1949 Dr. and Mrs. J. P. McNally Residence, Prescott • 1950 Mercer Mortuary, Phoenix • 1951 La Vista Grande Lodge, Maricopa County • 1957 Mr. and Mrs. Paul V. Feltman Residence, Phoenix • 1964 Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Cronk Residence, Paradise Valley • 1964 McCulloch Corporation Chain Saw Plant, Lake Havasu • 1965 Pinetop Country Club, Pinetop • 1968 Starlite Condominiums, Lake Havasu • 1969 Robert Gibbs & Sons Realty, multifamily residential, Lake Havasu • 1972 Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. McCulloch Residence, Lake Havasu • 1972 Snowbowl Development Village Complex

Image courtesy of Douglas B. Sydnor

Weir McDonald residence, Paradise Valley, early 1970s.

Image courtesy of John Dickman


elevated many of the functions above the site. Within the steel frame are plaster walls and tinted glazing. Planter retaining walls and cascading steps anchor the composition to the site, which fronts the Paradise Valley Country Club golf course. Phoenix-based LEA Architects LLC completed a renovation in 2012. “Cody found his stride in the details,” architecture historian Emil Bills says. “He was a famously happy man whose design elements reflected his outlook: toothbrush-skinny steel beams and paper-thin rooflines, conveyed somehow, levity. Water features in transitional spaces cooled the air and threw a playful splashing sound throughout a home. Progressive technology and fabulous feats of engineering were his favorite playthings.” Bills tells about Cody’s charismatic presence. “Cody toiled long hours then worked overtime on the social scene, identifiable in a crowd by his boisterous laugh. He always made a positive impression. Beautiful stationery, striking topography, and innovative branding materials eloquently communicated his talent long before most architects began thinking outside their literal boxes.” According to Bills, Cody was touted as a “modern sophisticate,” a “desert maverick,” and “the outsider of Palm Springs Modernism.” He adds that Cody is under recognized, underrated, and underappreciated for his many contributions. “Nothing could stop him,” his daughter Cathy says. “Whenever I think of a roadrunner, I think of him. The (coyote) wasn’t going to catch him. He was too sharp.”

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Digging Through the Archives:

the dam’s spillways. The resulting water release washed out road crossings along the Salt River in the Valley. Brief springtime flows in the Salt River through the city were not unusual, and road crossings were usually closed only for a few days. But, the high flows in spring of 1965 affected many crossings for months. major tributary, the Verde River. The Verde Driving across the Salt River was limited to had significantly less storage capacity a few bridges, and was a time-consuming behind its two dams, Horseshoe and Bart- challenge. lett, than the four dams on the Salt River. When Bartlett Dam, the downstream Bottom left: Lima cable crane positions impoundment on the Verde, was nearing pipes, 1965. full capacity, the Salt River Project opened Below: Pipe bridge construction, 1965.

The Salt River’s Bridge of Pipes William Horner


Images courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community

other Nature caused a massive traffic jam in the Valley in the spring of 1965. For the first time in 24 years, heavy winter snowfall in northern Arizona resulted in sustained high flows in the usually dry Salt River channel. The water came primarily from its

Fifty four

Jan-Feb 2020


The pipe was manufactured, transported, and positioned by American Concrete Pipe Co. of Phoenix. The company backfilled and compacted each of the 2-foot, 4-inch sections between the pipes. John W. Lattimore Contractor performed the concrete work. After backfilling, Sanner prepped the asphalt base with 6-inches of select material, 6-inches of a cement-treated base, and 4-inches of asphalt. For erosion protection,

Top left: An Autocar flatbed semi-truck delivers pipe, 1965. Middle: Positioned pipe sections, 1965. Above: Lima cable crane positioning pipes, 1965. 4-inches of reinforced concrete were placed on the slopes between the pipes on both sides. The project was completed and opened to traffic in December 1965.

VERDE RIVER DAMS Horseshoe Dam, left - The dam, named for the horseshoe-shaped bend in the Verde River at the dam site, was built between 1944-46 by the Phelps Dodge Corporation as part of a water exchange agreement with the Salt River Project. The City of Phoenix funded the addition of spillway gates to increase capacity in 1949. Horseshoe Reservoir has a storage capacity of 109,217 acre-feet. Bartlett Dam, right – The dam, named after Bill Bartlett, a government surveyor, was built between 1936-39 by the federal government. Bartlett Reservoir has a storage capacity of 178,186 acre-feet.

Images courtesy of SRP

One of the most affected intersections that wet spring was where U.S. Highway 87, or Country Club Drive, crossed the Salt River. The Arizona Highway Department, the forerunner of ADOT, let out bids for a project to improve the crossing in the late summer of 1965. Sanner Contracting won the $128,357 award to construct a pipe bridge. The company immediately began work where the highway crossed the river curving into McDowell Road, running west to Scottsdale. This river crossing carried both local commuters and long-distance traffic. The Arizona Highway Department conceived and designed a roadway built over a series of giant pipes, which would convey the Salt River’s flows based on a 100-year flood event. Sanner completed the project in five steps: 1. a paved detour east of the existing highway, 2. removing the old roadway, 3. placing and backfilling the pipe, 4. rebuilding and paving the new road, and 5. removing the bypass. The conduit used to convey the flow of the Salt River underneath Country Club Drive was centrifugally spun, Class III concrete tongue and groove pipe. Each of the 23 sections was 102-feet long, achieved with a combination of 6-foot, 8-foot, and 12-foot sections. The pipe weighed 1,700 pounds per foot, which exceeded 10 tons for a 12-foot length.

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Bid Results 10/30/2019 McDowell Recharge Basin Sedimentation Berm Removal Rummel $175,442 11/1/2019 (CMAR) Jomax WRF Operations Building Willmeng $4,500,000 11/1/2019 Yuma Casa Grande I 8 FNF $12,676,839 11/1/2019 Avondale Van Buren Sunland $2,432,373 11/4/2019 Yavapai County TOPV IGA Roadway Improvement CLM Earthmovers $951,459 11/5/2019 FY2019 CMAQ Alley Dustproofing Cactus Asphalt $2,543,129 11/5/2019 East Maricopa Floodway Low Flow Channel Germann Rd Power Rd FPS Civil $2,843,279 11/7/2019 (CMAR) 4th Street Lift Station Facility Sewer Repair Hunter $2,500,000 11/7/2019 (CMAR) 107th Avenue McDowell Road Widening Combs $3,250,000 11/12/2019 Mission Royale Community Parcel 4A Public Improvements Blucor $1,175,512 Fifty eight

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Phoenix Tempe Stone Co. $35,820 Road Improvements Cherry Lynn Rd., Phoenix

11/13/2019 I 40 Industrial Corridor Water System Tri Suns Engineering $193,512

Fisher Contracting Co. $23,990 Road Improvements Montecito Rd., Phoenix

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Fisher Contracting Co. $309,889 Rebuilding Runway Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

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Vinnell Co., Alhambra, CA $150,898 3 Mi Road Extension Beeline HWY, 15 Mi S. of Payson

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J.H. Welsh & Sons Const. Co. $1,787 Sewer Install Fillmore 20th-21st Ave, Phoenix

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Arizona Sand & Rock Co. $4,850 Paving Alleys College Homes Subdivision, Phoenix

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P. 18 & 22

P. 61

Contracting & Engineering

A to Z Rentals 480-558-0063 a-zequipment.com

P. 46

Arnold Machinery 801-972-4000 arnoldmachinery.com

P. 4

Branco Machinery 480-892-5657 brancomachinery.com


DDI 602-243-5243 ddiequip.com

P. 7

DitchWitch 602-437-0351 ditchwitchaz.com

P. 30

DCS Contracting 480-732-9238 dcscontracting.com

P. 56

E & E Companies 480-251-8929 Keystone Concrete 480-835-1579 keystoneconcretellc.com

P. 22 P. 56

ECCO Heavy Equipment Rentals P. 39 602-276-2040 eccoequipment.com

NCS 928-567-6585 networxcs.com

P. 5

Empire Sales Center 520-582-2050 empirecat.com/eloy

Milling Services 480-721-3338 millingservices.com

P. 43

GenTech 800-625-8324 gentechusa.com


Suppliers & Sales Arizona Materials 602-278-4444 arizonamaterials.com

P. 22

CalPortland 602-817-6929 calportland.com

P. 56

P. 42

CED 602-437-4200 cedphx.com

P. 5

P. 24

Cemex 602-416-2652 cemexusa.com

P. 13

Trucking & Hauling Alan Harris Trucking 602-276-4357 alanharristrucking.com

P. 43

Insearch Corp 480-940-0100 insearchcorp.com

P. 13

Interstate T&T 602-638-2557 interstatetnt.com

P. 56

Matt Brown Trucking 602-361-2174 mattbrowntrucking.com

P. 47

MDI Rock 602-569-8722 mdirock.com

P. 6

Mundall Trucking 602-276-0699 mundalltrucking.com

P. 18

Otto Trucking 480-641-3500 ottotrucking.com

P. 8

For Advertising inquires contact: William Horner 602-931-0069 billy@arizcc.com

Jan-Feb 2020







601 North Jackrabbit Trail Buckeye, AZ 85326 Phone: 623-853-8300

9430 North 16th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021 Phone: 602-944-1304

1601 W Hatcher Phoenix, AZ 85021 Phone: 602-944-4594


Arizona Contractor & Community




There Is Nothing We Can’t Do. There Is No Place We Won’t Go. Contact us anytime!


Sixty two


God bless you

Jan-Feb 2020

VERMEER VXT8 SERIES TRUCK MOUNTED VACUUM EXCAVATORS The VXT8 series of MEGA VACS is designed for contractors focused on fast, safe and reliable vacuum excavation from job sites to dumpsites with an 8 yard spoil tank capacity. Call us to learn more.

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Arizona Contractor & Community

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HEAVY EQUIPMENT SALES AND RENTALS We Listen. We Deliver. Articulated Dump Trucks · Dozers · Excavators · Scrapers Motor Graders (grade control available) · Wheel Loaders Water Wagons · Water Trucks · Fuel & Lube Trucks Mechanics Trucks · Stand Tanks · Water Pumps · Compactors

Rental Account Manager

Rental Account Manager

Rental Account Manager

General Manager

Jean Kasitch

James Bagshaw

Tyler Denton

Brian Collins



jbagshaw@pacwesttrading.com tdenton@pacwesttrading.com





3105 N Maple St. Mesa, AZ 85215 | www.pacwesttrading.com

Phone: 480-832-0855