Pardon our dust, we’re moving that bridge in Florence

By Garin Groff / ADOT Communications

This new bridge might seem unimpressive because it’s only one lane, but it’s got one unexpected trick up its sleeve.SR 79 bridge slide construction

It was built to travel -- at least a few feet -- and that’s what it’s going to do this weekend, Jan. 20-23.

Yes, ADOT is moving this new smallish concrete roadway section as part of an innovative way of replacing a bridge by sliding it into place, piece by piece. The process is continuing as we work on the second and final weekend of moving the structure’s components on State Route 79 in Florence.

Last weekend, Jan. 14-15, crews slid five of these segments into place to make up the northbound lane. And this weekend, we’ll move five sections of the southbound lane. Each segment spans 300 feet in length -- that’s as long as a football field. 

We’ve already discussed how the bridge slide process works, but we’d like to offer a final reminder about his weekend’s activity. And that the work will mean travel delays.

Traffic at the bridge over the Gila River will be narrowed to a single lane of alternating travel, regulated by a temporary signal. The restriction is planned from 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, through 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 23.

By Monday morning, Jan. 23, all sections of the new bridge should be in their permanent home and taking one lane of traffic in each direction.

Drivers should expect occasional but minor restrictions in the next few months as work crews wrap things up. Once all the dust has settled, the new, 1,500-foot-long bridge will feature one travel lane in each direction, 8-foot-wide shoulders and a protected pedestrian walkway.  You can find out more about the work on the SR 79 bridge replacement project page