Traveling from Safford area to Phoenix over the next two years to be hampered by bridge replacement project

Graphic Courtesy ADOT: Artist rendering of the new Pinto Creek bridge.

Staff Reports

GILA COUNTY – For the next two years, those traveling from the Safford area to Phoenix and vice versa will have to deal with lengthy detours, intermittent lane closures, and other restrictions as the Pinto Creek Bridge on U.S. Highway 60 roughly 6 miles west of Miami, Arizona, is replaced.  

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Federal Highway Administration will begin its Pinto Creek Bridge replacement project this fall. Work is expected to start in September and will involve building a new bridge adjacent to the existing bridge and then removing the old bridge. 

Traffic Impacts

The existing bridge will remain in service until the new bridge is completed.

Motorists should expect possible delays and intermittent lane closures with flaggers and pilot cars throughout the project.

In addition to lane restrictions, pre-scheduled closures of U.S. Highway 60 will be required at the following times:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. early in the project (tentatively mid-September to early November 2019) to allow for rock blasting 
  • Overnight closures later in the project schedule to set steel girders and place bridge-deck concrete
  • A five-day closure of U.S. Highway 60 will be scheduled when the bridge is nearing completion (tentatively late 2020)
Photo Courtesy ADOT: Vehicles travel on the existing Pinto Creek Bridge.

During scheduled closures of U.S. Highway 60, motorists will be detoured to State Route 77 and State Route 177. Please Note: This detour will likely add at least 45 minutes to a trip.

ADOT will provide advance notice of restrictions and closures through message boards, news releases, and email alerts.  Sign up for email alerts.

Project Purpose

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 (AASHTO) 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.

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