File Photo By Walt Mares: The Coronado Bridge north of Morenci has reopened.
The closure of the Coronado Bridge north of Morenci that appeared would take several weeks to fix has reopened ahead of schedule due to resources from Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s Morenci Operations.
The bridge, located on U.S. Highway 191 North roughly 7 miles north of the entrance to the Morenci mine, was initially closed Feb. 28.
On March 12, it was announced that the bridge would remain closed for several weeks to address deterioration to the abutment that has occurred over time. The bridge was built by Freeport-McMoRan Inc., and the engineer who designed the bridge was the one to recommend its closure after an inspection.
Due to the closure, drivers traveling between Morenci and Alpine had to take U.S. Highway 191 southbound from Morenci to Three Way, then travel State Route 78 east into New Mexico to U.S. Highway 180, which would lead to Alpine.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the bridge is now safe for travel while construction continues performing long-term repairs.