Thirty-one years ago, when there still were areas of open land between Phoenix and Tempe and only one freeway connected the East Valley to downtown (and the West Valley consisted only of a handful of very small towns), excess rain and winter runoff left the normally dry Salt River raging.
Phoenix actually experienced “100-year” floods in consecutive years as water was released from Salt River Project’s reservoir system before overflowing the dams and into the Salt River bed. At one point, only three bridges across the Salt still were standing – Interestate 10, the century-old Mill Avenue Bridge and the adjacent railroad tressle.
Those riding Phoenix’s new Light Rail system can see both the old and new Mill Avenue bridges out the eastern windows and the railroad tressle, which briefly carried passenger cars to help ease the multi-hour commute caused by the floods, out the western side.
And the water below? That’s Tempe’s Rio Salado project, a roughly three-mile long lake created in the Salt River bed.
Photo credit: Steve Dalton, traveling with Shelly, who also bought their son lunch[tags]Phoenix real estate, Phoenix light rail[/tags]