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Contact: Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz.– The field work for replacement of the Transcanyon Pipeline (TCP) near Phantom Ranch that began January 26, 2015 has progressed, and as of April 24, 2015 the contractor has replaced over a quarter mile (0.4 km) of new pipe. The contractor—Ortega Plumbing and Heating of Albuquerque, NM—has an additional quarter mile of pipe to place in the ground and anticipates completing the project in October 2015.
Built between 1965 and 1970, the TCP was the largest and most complex project taken on by the National Park Service during that time. Now nearing 50 years in age, the TCP has surpassed its expected length of service by more than two decades. Sixteen miles (25 km) long, stretching from Roaring Springs to the South Rim across the Colorado River, the aging pipeline breaks between five and thirty times a year, making replacement and construction necessary.
Replacement of the entire pipeline will cost an estimated 100–150 million dollars. This current project only addresses immediate issues in the Phantom Ranch area, where frequent breaks cause highest risk to visitors and facilities. To patch this part of the pipeline, the contractor had 121,500 pounds of pipe, three temporary 5,000 gallon potable water storage tanks, and one mini-excavator flown into the canyon.
Until the project is finished, the work may require temporarily shutting down the drinking water system along the corridor trails. All hikers, backpackers, and trail runners must have an alternative way to treat creek water. Construction may also affect power to the Phantom Ranch area. Additionally, hikers and guests of Phantom Ranch facilities may experience noise and dust and should follow detour signs and stay out of closed areas, which include portions of the North Kaibab Trail near Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground.
Individuals who have backcountry campground reservations and have questions about impacts of construction work during their trip should contact the Backcountry Information Center at 928-638-7875. Guests with advance reservations at Phantom Ranch should contact Xanterra Central Reservations at 1-888-297-2757 with any questions about their reservations.
Every effort is being made to minimize impacts to park visitors and residents during this important infrastructure improvement. Contact project manager Greg MacGregor at 928-638-7360 for questions about the Phantom Ranch pipeline replacement project.