ADOT starting project to protect I-17 Verde River bridge footings

Verde River flow will be directed to install erosion-protective caps

Earthen bypass channelCAMP VERDE – An Arizona Department of Transportation project to improve the Verde River bridges on I-17 near Camp Verde is underway to add capping to the bridge footings in the river bed to prevent erosion, protecting vital infrastructure on the primary route between Phoenix and Flagstaff. 

The work utilizes a method to channel river flow through the work zone by constructing a temporary “earthen bypass channel” to contain the river flow so crews can safely work outside of the area placing concrete caps over the footings of the Verde River bridges.

The channel is 60 feet wide and designed to handle the normal river flow of the Verde River. The channeling of the Verde River will occur in two phases as crews work on the 12 total bridge footings.

In order to protect wildlife, ADOT has teamed up with biologists from Northern Arizona University who are onsite anytime crews are working. One biologist recently found a northern Mexican gartersnake, an endangered species, and safely relocated the reptile. In addition all project personnel onsite had to take a training class on the endangered species in the area.

There will be no impacts to traffic on I-17 while work is occurring. River users, however, will be required to exit the river and go around the project site.

The project is anticipated to be completed by spring 2022.

For more information, visit azdot.gov/projects and click on the Northcentral District.