City of Phoenix


VR Maintains Continuous and Safe Access During Trailhead Expansions.


This simultaneous expansion of two existing trailheads in the environmentally-sensitive Phoenix Sonoran Preserve required continuous and safe access for trail users during construction. Environmental preservation techniques were used to protect the sensitive natural characteristics of the site and to enhance the experience of trail users. Design and construction solutions preserved dramatic views, reduced the area of disturbance, protected and enhanced natural vegetation and provided for erosion protection and storm management. 

Each site received grading improvements, new custom concrete and steel restroom buildings, increased ADA access features, Ramada shade structures, trail connections, lighting, native seed revegetation, gabions and signage. The Carefree Highway project scope included major site improvements, including mass grading and drainage, parking, equestrian facilities, access control gates, pathways, lighting, native landscape salvage and installation, drainage channels, signage, deceleration turning lanes, as well as, signalized intersection improvements on Carefree Highway. 


Project Details

50% Self-Performed
November 2015 | 10 Acres

Key Elements

Restrooms | ADA Features | Pathways 
Landscape Salvage &  Revegetation 
Drainage | Lighting | Parking


Honors Award, ACEC, 2017 

I’ve had the pleasure as project manager for Weddle Gilmore Architects to work with VR on multiple trailhead projects over the past 10 years in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for the City of Scottsdale. We are elated each and every time they are awarded a project, because we know we’re going to get the best! It makes everyone’s jobs easier when VR is on site. Not only has VR proved their efficiency by carefully managing and building with accuracy within the Preserve, but have played valuable roles in coming up with effective and targeted solutions to unforeseen conflicts during the construction process. I’ve seen firsthand in meetings and site visits the remarkable process with which VR cares for and values the nature of the sites in which they work. On multiple accounts this year, VR has been called on by the City to correct construction issues from other contractor’s installations, mainly around the site where a sensitivity and craft is needed. Most contractors don’t know how to implement Preserve design. Valley Rain has mastered this delicate and precise construction process! 
I consider VR to be the best at Trailhead Construction, and highly recommend them to you
as CMAR for your project.

Brandon Gowen
Sr. Project Manager, Weddle Gilmore Architects

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