Graphic Courtesy ADOT: Artist rendering of the new Pinto Creek bridge.
GILA COUNTY – After some delays, work on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Pinto Creek Bridge replacement project has started and now motorists should prepare for delays for the next two years.
Starting Monday, Oct. 7 and continuing through Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. lane closures will take place with flaggers for pilot cars. The new schedule also calls for weekday lane closures from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., starting the week of Oct. 21, with full closures on Tuesday and Thursday of that week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow for rock blasting.
During full lane closures, motorists on U.S. Highway 60 will be detoured to State Route 77 and State Route 177. The detour will likely add at least 45 minutes to a trip. Those restrictions and closures are expected to last roughly six to eight weeks.
The blasting is necessary to realign the highway roughly 30 feet to the north as the new bridge will be built adjacent to the existing bridge. Once the new bridge is built, the old bridge will be demolished.
The new bridge will be nearly 700 feet long and will consist of one lane of travel in each direction with 8-foot wide shoulders. It will be held up by three piers, as shown in the artist’s rendering.
A five-day closure of U.S. Highway 60 is tentatively scheduled for late 2020 when the bridge should be nearing completion, according to ADOT. There will also be overnight closures later in the project to set steel girders and place bridge-deck concrete.
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The Pinto Creek Bridge was built to standards in 1949; however, those standards no longer meet the current minimum FHWA American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials and ADOT Bridge Design Guidelines. The purpose of this project is to address a structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridge structure while ensuring that the traveling public is provided a reliable bridge crossing over Pinto Creek preserving the continuity of U.S. Highway 60 and its function as a major transportation link.