Tag Archives: Gila River

Skyline Regional Park

Work underway on first phase of Skyline Regional Park

Skanska has started work on phase one of the 8,675-acre Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye.

The $3.95 million project for the City of Buckeye includes roadway construction, park features including entry gate house, entry gate monument and gates, ramadas, rest rooms and a pedestrian/equestrian bridge across the Skyline Wash.

The work consists of subgrade preparation, pipe and reinforced concrete box culverts, asphalt paving, new entry gate house and restrooms, curb, gutter and sidewalks, parking areas, decomposed granite roads and parking, landscaping, riprap, erosion control, park monument wall and sign, signing and striping, and other related incidental work.

“From the beginning of this project the Skanska team has performed like seasoned professionals, committed to quality, reacting quickly to every request for information, providing solid value engineering and dedicating themselves to completing this project on time,” said Christopher Williams, manager, construction and contracting division, for the City of Buckeye. “Each member of the Skanska team, from the top to the bottom, has impressed me and I look forward to working with them on many more projects for the City of Buckeye.”

“This project will provide numerous amenities to Valley residents and visitors,” said Skanska’s Phoenix Civil Construction Division Manager Chris Halpin. “We appreciate the teamwork from the City of Buckeye and our partners in making Phase One happen.”

The park features views from the top of its mountain ridges overlooking the valley floor toward downtown Phoenix and south toward the Gila River.

The park will also offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and other passive recreation activities such as wildlife viewing and camping. New programs will be offered for families to enjoy, including stargazing, fitness hikes and informative programs on the many natural and cultural resources found in the park.

In July 2013, Skanska, which is active in both the building and civil construction markets, announced it had moved its building operations to 4742 North 24th Street in Phoenix, just south of Camelback Road. Skanska’s civil construction unit, formerly located in Peoria, Ariz., has co-located with the building group at the 24th Street location.


House, Senate panels forward bills to halt Glendale casino

WASHINGTON – Bills that would halt construction on a Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale passed committees in both the House and the Senate Wednesday.

The Keep the Promise Act of 2015 – introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale – would “prohibit gaming activities on certain Indian land in Arizona until the expiration of certain gaming compacts” in 2027.

“I am pleased the Senate Indian Affairs Committee has advanced this legislation in the Senate,” McCain said in a statement released by his office after the bill passed the committee on a voice vote.

“I introduced this bill because of objections raised by a number of Arizona mayors and other local elected officials who do not approve of this or any other Indian casino being airdropped into their communities,” his statement said.

The House bill, passed by a subcommittee last month, was formally sent to the full House Wednesday.

Tohono O’odham officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but have repeatedly criticized what they call the “job-killing legislation” by Franks and McCain. The West Valley Resort and Casino would create an estimated 3,000 permanent jobs, said the tribe, which broke ground on the project last year.

“After the Nation has consistently followed the law, it is shameful for the Senate to consider breaking the federal government’s word, and placing taxpayers on the hook for this special interest earmark,” said Tohono O’odham Chairman Ned Norris in a statement posted on the tribe’s web site.

“If this legislation passes, all tribes should question whether Congress can be trusted to keep its word in land and water rights settlements,” the statement said.

But other tribes welcomed the vote Wednesday. The Tohono O’odham project is opposed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Gila River and Fort McDowell Yavapai tribes, which all have casinos in the Valley.

“The community stands united with the governor of Arizona, the attorney general, many city leaders in the Phoenix area, and tribal leaders throughout the state, in confirming that voters never intended to have ‘casino reservations’ created by a tribe in the middle of a city, more than 100 miles away from its reservation,” said Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Delbert Ray Sr. in a statement Wednesday.

“Additionally, this legislation is consistent with the state’s position that principles of fraud and misrepresentation nullify any contention that the Tohono O’odham Nation may create a new casino reservation in the middle of Glendale, at a site across the street from a public high school,” Ray’s statement said.

The statement from the Gila River Indian Community said that without action from Congress, the Tohono O’odham could build three other casinos on other off-reservation lands they have in Maricopa.

But the Tohono O’odham have pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report on the House version of the bill that said the tribe would likely sue Congress if the bills passed, which could ultimately cost taxpayers up to $1 billion in litigation and settlements.

“This announcement by the CBO – a nonpartisan agency which produces independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues – calls into question why fiscally conservative members of Congress would want to support this legislation,” the tribe said in a statement last week.

That statement quoted Norris as charging the bills’ backers with “working so hard to send Arizona workers to the unemployment line.”

“Now we also are trying to understand why they would be willing to make American taxpayers foot the bill for creating this job-killing legislation, all to protect the market share of a few wealthy special interests,” his statement said.

Top 5: Arizona Casinos - Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

Glendale supports tribe’s casino plan

The Glendale City Council has approved a resolution to support the Tohono O’Odham Nation’s proposal to build a casino near the city’s sports and entertainment district.

The council voted 4-3 Tuesday to back the plan that the tribe projects will have a $300 million annual economic impact.

The Tohono O’Odham has been pushing a proposal to build a sprawling, Las Vegas-style casino since January 2009.

The Gila River Indian Community opposes the plan, saying it violates zoning and state laws and threatens the balance of tribal gaming in Arizona.

Opponents also argue a 2002 voter-backed compact bars more casinos from opening in metro Phoenix.

Gila River tribal officials say opponents will continue to do everything possible to stop the project.

The Tohono O’odham already operates several casinos in southern Arizona.

Power Outage Map

SRP eyes alternatives for power line plan

Salt River Project has delayed its proposal to bring high-voltage power lines to Chandler and Sun Lakes neighborhoods.

Officials with the utility company say they’re continuing to work with the Gila River Indian Community on an alternative plan.

SRP had planned to apply for state permission to bring the 230-kilovolt power lines through neighborhoods in south Chandler in November 2013.

That application has been postponed until as late as Aug. 1, 2014.

SRP says the new power lines are needed to keep up with demand, particularly on the Price Road Corridor.

However, residents in Sun Lakes and south Chandler have protested the proposal that would bring 130-foot poles through their neighborhoods.

SRP recently released a potential route through the Gila River reservation. That alternative still requires approval from several entities.

Bob Bondurant John Dowd image

Bondurant celebrates his 80th birthday

Bob Bondurant celebrates his 80th birthday today (April 27), and he’ll be sitting it out — in a race car.

The World Champion driver, founder and CEO of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, proudly located on the Gila River Indian Community just outside Phoenix, will enjoy the milestone with wife Pat, family and Bondurant School employees and friends.

“Pat and I and everyone at the school thank our loyal sponsors, Gila River friends, thousands of former students and many others for their letters, notes, cards and e-mails,” says Bob, who will be taking birthday laps in one of his presents: a supercharged Cobra given to him by Pat.

“This is an enormous year we have all been anticipating,” says Pat, president of the school, which is this year celebrating its 45th anniversary with events on site and nationwide. “To our long-time friends throughout the world, a high-horsepower ‘Thank You!’”

After competing with dirt bikes in Southern California in his teens, Bob raced Corvettes in the mid-‘50s, winning the west coast SCCA B Production National Championship in 1959 with a stunning 18 of 20 wins. He followed this with USSRC success for the great Carroll Shelby. For his Shelby American team, Bob participated in the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship, winning seven of his 10 races in Cobras and Daytonas — still the only American team to achieve this title.

After surviving a horrendous racing accident in June 1967 at Watkins Glen, New York, he rebuilt his life by opening the Bondurant School a half year later at Orange County International Raceway in Santa Ana, Calif., and moved to the Arizona location in 1990. “Our vision was, then and now: Offer a wide variety of drivers the best track-intensive training in the world,” Bob says.

The only purpose-built facility of its kind in the world, the Bondurant School has trained nearly 500,000 people — professional racers, executives, law-enforcement officers and military specialists, performance enthusiasts and day-to-day drivers — to become safer and more proficient at handling the challenges of track, street and highway driving.