A-Mountain trails closed Friday due to radio towers being removed

TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- It was a beautiful day to get out for a hike, but those looking to hike "A" mountain in Tempe were unfortunately out of luck, because the trail was closed, and city officials said it was all for a good reason.

According to Tempe historians, there has always been something on top of "A" Mountain since about 1883, but that is changing by the end of the night Friday.

"Be it a flag pole, a light, an aviation beacon, radio equipment of some sort, something," said John Southard, Tempe's Historic Preservation Officer. "The top there perhaps not permanently something at least dating back to 1883, so years, this is a long time coming."

On Friday, crews deconstructed a 30-foot communications tower on the top of "A" Mountain. The large steel poles were carried down the mountain, never to return.

"Nothing will ever get put back up there. That is the intent," said Southard. "We are removing everything. The tower, the broadcast house, the foundation, the chain link fence. All of it will be removed."

The natural preserve is considered a sacred space by four southern tribes: the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Tohono O'odham nation, Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and the Gila River Indian Community. This project between the city and these tribes has been in the works for years, and the goal is to return the mountain to its natural state.

Hard work and dedication between the two, along with advanced technology, made it all possible.

"The equipment has been relocated. Thankfully, with the advances in technology, a lot of it is much smaller now. There's not as great of a need to take advantage of the topography of the high location as there was in the past. They've been able to utilize rooftops and other manmade structures primarily," said Southard.

The concrete foundation removal will be completed by the end of June.