Andy Dolyniuk worked for the U.S. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as Project Construction Engineer for Central Arizona Project, leading the team that supervised construction.
Andy Dolyniuk: Behind the scenes of CAP construction
(The story below is built around a recorded interview)
As the Project Construction Engineer for CAP, engineer Andy Dolyniuk had seen it all. Exploration work to determine what types of soils they would encounter. Groundbreaking in Parker in 1973. The boring of seven-mile Buckskin Mountain Tunnel. The result was the CAP system. An engineering marvel. And a project that Dolyniuk said he never doubted would be masterfully constructed.
“That goes back to the fact that our skills and people that can match those skills and get the job done,” said Dolyniuk. “So if you look at the surveying, it’s kind of amazing that you start at one point and through the network of tunnels, canals, pumping plants, siphons, and everything three hundred miles downstream, everything worked out fine.”
But construction wasn’t always easy or simple. He said selecting locations for the pumping plants was a challenging study of topography. Determining when and how to change the size of the canal, taking into consideration how wide you want it, the friction factors and consistent slope, was complicated. Planning for wildlife and safety for people was another consideration.
“There is more to it than meets the eye. You see a canal and you go, ‘well the canal is flowing,’ but there was definitely quite a bit of work that went in to it to determine where it came from, what size it is, and where it’s going,” said Dolyniuk. “Personally, I’m just glad that I was part of it. It was just one heck of a good ball game.”