Work to replace San Pedro River Bridge is underway

As you can see in the video above, work to replace the San Pedro River Bridge is in full swing…

Construction started Oct. 1 and continues until March, which is when the project will shut down for about six months to accommodate the summer migratory bird season in the San Pedro riparian wilderness area. Work starts back up again in Oct. 2013 and is on schedule to finish by spring 2014.

This project is designed to replace the existing San Pedro River Bridge (built in 1955!) with a new structure featuring wider traffic lanes and shoulders that meet current standards and provide adequate space for vehicles.

You might remember that we blogged about this project a few months ago and highlighted the public involvement process. People in the community told ADOT they wanted the highway to stay open – at least partially – during construction.

That feedback helped shape the project and the construction schedule…

“The community let us know during the planning phase of this that they didn’t want us to completely shut the highway down and do the construction of the bridge,” says ADOT Senior Community Relations Officer C.T. Revere in the video above. “So we kept a lane open and the traffic signal is controlling the traffic through there.”

Besides community comment, the bridge’s location has also played a role in shaping the project…

As illustrated in the video above, the bridge’s locale – it sits in one of two congressionally designated national riparian conservation areas in the country – has factored into how crews are working to construct the new bridge. Wattles and sediment barrier are in the plan along with a re-seeding and planting plan that includes the replacement of trees that were taken down for construction.

“Some of those trees had to be removed because the bridge is going to be wider than the existing one,” Revere says in the video. “The one that’s there now is 26-feet wide. The new one will be 44 feet wide. Also the construction activities to build the new bridge required us to have some clearance.”