Girders placed for I-17 bridge over Central Avenue project in Phoenix

Steel beams mark progress on reconstruction work south of downtown

PHOENIX – Progress is being made on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s project to replace the old Interstate 17 bridge over Central Avenue south of downtown Phoenix.

Cranes are being used this week to lift and place more than 20 steel girders to support the new southbound I-17 side of the bridge when it is completed. Each girder is between 80 and 90 feet in length and weighs more than 12 tons.

Crews are scheduled to finish the first half of the reconstructed bridge over Central Avenue by early 2021. I-17 traffic will then be temporarily switched onto the new southbound span to allow work to start on the northbound phase of the project.

ADOT started work on the $13.5 million project to improve the I-17 bridge over Central Avenue in May. The existing bridge, which opened to traffic in 1962, is being replaced by a modern structure with increased clearance for commercial trucks traveling beneath it as well as Valley Metro’s future Central Avenue light-rail line.

The bridge over Central Avenue also will be wider to accommodate regional plans for additional lanes along I-17 when future funding is available.

Because I-17 is currently narrowed to two lanes in each direction between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street while the bridge project is underway, ADOT recommends drivers consider detour routes, including Interstate 10 in the downtown area.

The project is funded in part by Proposition 400, a dedicated sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004. Additional information is available at