US 60

Queen Creek Bridge replacement project begins on US60

Queen Creek Bridge replacement project begins on US60

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Queen Creek Bridge replacement project begins on US60

Queen Creek Bridge replacement project begins on US60

January 25, 2024

Full closures will be required between Superior, Miami for blasting

SUPERIOR – The Arizona Department of Transportation is replacing two bridges on US 60 east of Superior with spans designed to handle passenger and commercial traffic for decades to come.

The combined $44.7 million project will require multiple full highway closures on US 60 between Superior and Miami for blasting operations as crews work to construct new bridges over Queen Creek and Waterfall Canyon.

Motorists should plan for as many as three closures a week, starting at a date to be determined within the next several weeks, and continuing until autumn. The closures, when required, will occur from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

During the closures for blasting, crews will work to shift the highway 65 feet to the east and align it with the new Queen Creek Bridge. Also during the closures, crews will reconstruct the Waterfall Canyon Bridge just east of the Queen Creek Tunnel.

During the closures, motorists will detour on state routes 77 and 177 through Winkelman. This will add up to one hour to the trip between Globe and Superior. By providing consistent days and times for these full closures, ADOT is providing a reliable schedule for those who travel between the Superior and Globe areas.

Toward the end of the project, a multi-day closure of US 60 will be required to finish realigning the highway with the new Queen Creek Bridge.

The new Queen Creek Bridge will span 763 feet and feature one lane of travel in each direction with 4-foot-wide shoulders. The replacement structure for the Waterfall Canyon Bridge will span 107 feet.

Once the Queen Creek Bridge is completed, crews will dismantle the existing structure, which opened to traffic in 1949. While the bridge remains safe for traffic, it has reached the end of its lifespan and doesn’t meet current standards for bridge design.

For safety reasons, construction will require closing some areas used by hikers, rock climbers and other recreational areas. In the Queen Creek Bridge area, trails will close from Magma Avenue in Superior to the west of the Claypool Tunnel. The trail through the Claypool Tunnel, heading east past Waterfall Canyon Bridge, will remain open until later in the project when active construction begins in this area. 

In the Waterfall Canyon Bridge area, the US 60 pullout east of the Queen Creek tunnel will close during the project. Other nearby pullouts may close intermittently. 

For more information, please visit azdot.gov/US60QueenCreekBridgeProject

 

ADOT’s US 60 Pinto Creek Bridge replacement wins regional honor

ADOT’s US 60 Pinto Creek Bridge replacement wins regional honor

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT’s US 60 Pinto Creek Bridge replacement wins regional honor

ADOT’s US 60 Pinto Creek Bridge replacement wins regional honor

June 12, 2023

Best Use of Technology, Medium Project, in America’s Transportation Awards

PHOENIX – An Arizona Department of Transportation project that replaced the US 60 Pinto Creek Bridge between the East Valley and Globe has received a regional honor. 

The 2023 America’s Transportation Awards named the effort Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Medium Project, for the Western region. The competition is sponsored by AASHTO, an association representing highway and transportation departments nationwide, as well as AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

“We’re grateful to see the Pinto Creek Bridge replacement honored among projects throughout the West, but we’re even prouder of what this improvement has accomplished for those who rely on this critical route for passenger and commercial traffic,” said Greg Byres, ADOT State Engineer and Deputy Director for Transportation. “ADOT engineers and the contractor used innovative design and construction approaches to create a safer and more reliable US 60 for decades to come.”

Completed in 2022, the $25.3 million project built the new bridge next to the one it replaced, with traffic continuing to use the old bridge until the new bridge opened. 

Among other innovative approaches used:

  • ADOT used a bid-alternative method for design, which allowed the contractor to determine economical and supportive foundation systems for each of the bridge’s three piers while taking into account the mountainous terrain.

  • To create retaining wall structures up to 30 feet high, ADOT engineers developed design standards and specifications for a micro-pile foundation system using high-strength, small-diameter steel rods.

  • A temporary access road was built to the floor of the steep canyon to provide access for heavy equipment, including a 400-ton crane that placed girders atop the piers, the tallest of which is 138 feet. 

  • ADOT partnered with Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to temporarily remove and then return hedgehog cactuses unique to the project site.

You can view photos of the completed bridge at flic.kr/s/aHBqjzWgRb. Carrying two lanes of traffic, the bridge is 695.5 feet long, has 10-foot-wide shoulders and can carry heavier loads than its predecessor, which was 72 years old.

The award was presented last week at the annual meeting of WASHTO, which represents departments of transportation in the West. 

ADOT to make pavement improvements to US 60 west of Wickenburg

ADOT to make pavement improvements to US 60 west of Wickenburg

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT to make pavement improvements to US 60 west of Wickenburg

ADOT to make pavement improvements to US 60 west of Wickenburg

May 5, 2022

WICKENBURG, AZ – The Arizona Department of Transportation will be performing pavement improvements along a 23-mile stretch of US 60 west of Wickenburg beginning Monday, May 9.

The work will take place between the communities of Wenden and Aguila (mileposts 63 to 86) and involve spot pavement repairs and chip sealing where needed. Crews will also perform a micro seal from mileposts 82 to 85.

Drivers should expect alternating lane closures with one lane of traffic maintained throughout construction weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct drivers through the work zone. Drivers should plan for delays while the work is underway.

Micro sealing is a process that can lengthen the life of road surfaces through sealing cracks and creating smooth surfaces for vehicles to drive on.

The $1.6 million project is expected to wrap up this fall. 

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

ADOT to complete repaving US 60, SR 260 in Show Low

ADOT to complete repaving US 60, SR 260 in Show Low

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT to complete repaving US 60, SR 260 in Show Low

ADOT to complete repaving US 60, SR 260 in Show Low

April 7, 2022

SHOW LOW – With warmer temperatures returning, the Arizona Department of Transportation will resume repaving 11 miles of US 60 and SR 260 in Show Low on Sunday, April 10.

The projects, which started last summer, include repaving US 60, known locally as Deuce of Clubs Avenue, from milepost 336, just outside the Show Low city limits, to Adams Street. Crews are also repaving SR 260, known locally as White Mountain Boulevard, from US 60 to Wagon Wheel Road.

Work will occur overnight from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday evenings and continuing through Friday mornings. Drivers can expect intermittent east- and westbound lane closures. One travel lane will remain open in each direction while the overnight work is taking place. Motorists should be prepared for delays of up to 20 minutes during overnight work.

Lane restrictions will not be in place during daytime hours or weekends, and business access will be maintained at all times during construction.

The projects are scheduled to be completed late fall 2022.

For more information on paving US 60 and SR 260 in Show Low, visit azdot.gov/ShowLow.

During the past five years, ADOT spent approximately $507 million on pavement preservation projects across the state. 

Throwback Thursday: The very model of a modern major freeway

Throwback Thursday: The very model of a modern major freeway

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Throwback Thursday: The very model of a modern major freeway

Throwback Thursday: The very model of a modern major freeway

By John LaBarbera / ADOT Communications
March 24, 2022

Today we throwback to the late 1960s when Johnny Carson was king and Phoenix had a population of about 800,000. 

Despite the fact that fair city was bubbling under one million people, the Valley was already expanding and the Arizona Highway Department (ADOT wasn't created until the mid-’70s) was looking toward the future.

Here we see a model of the Superstition Freeway, also known as US 60. Back then, it was touted as State Route 360. This particular model appears to show a transition with another freeway. Eagle-eyed observers may posit that this could be the future Loop 101 Price Freeway.

Models like this are typically taken to public meetings so citizens can visualize what a future freeway may look like once it's come to its full realization.

A lot of work goes into creating these models. Notice not only the placement of hundreds of tiny trees, but models of structures and homes, as well as cars and trucks positioned as though they are traveling along this pocket-sized parkway.

Named for the famed mountain range to its east, the Superstition Freeway extends 30 miles from the I-10 interchange in Tempe all the way to Gold Canyon. But it’s just a small snippet of US 60 in Arizona, which runs 369 miles, from Quartzsite in western Arizona to the New Mexico state line.

ADOT project will improve safety from Salt River Canyon to Show Low

ADOT project will improve safety from Salt River Canyon to Show Low

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT project will improve safety from Salt River Canyon to Show Low

ADOT project will improve safety from Salt River Canyon to Show Low

November 8, 2021

SHOW LOW – Did you know that about 60% of all roadway fatalities in Arizona are the result of vehicles leaving the road? That’s why the Arizona Department of Transportation has started a new project along US 60 west of Show Low to create a space for those vehicles to safely stop and recover.

On US 60 west of Show Low, there have been 11 fatal and 34 serious injury crashes over the last 10 years between mileposts 292 and 340. Many of these crashes involved leaving the roadway.

ADOT, in its commitment to driver safety, is creating “clear zones” on either side of US 60 that are clear of obstructions like trees. This zone allows a driver time and space to stop or regain control of the vehicle after leaving the roadway. 

Starting today, crews will remove vegetation and trees within 30 feet of the edge of the highway in most locations and 5 feet behind guardrail-protected locations. All of this work will take place within ADOT’s right-of-way.

The work will occur during daytime hours, Mondays through Fridays. No work is planned during weekends or holidays. One lane of traffic will remain open at all times on US 60, and existing turn lanes will also stay open. Barricades or other traffic-control devices will be removed after crews finish working each day. The project is anticipated to be completed early next year.

Additional benefits of this project is that drivers will have more time to react to any wildlife emerging from the forest and heading toward the highway as well as reducing ice-related incidents in the winter months caused by shading of the roadway.

Trees removed from the clear zone will be reused by local government entities including providing firewood for eligible members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. 

For more information on the safety project, please visit azdot.gov/US60safetyproject.

US 60 reopens between Superior, Miami

US 60 reopens between Superior, Miami

I-17 101 traffic interchange

US 60 reopens between Superior, Miami

US 60 reopens between Superior, Miami

October 27, 2021

 

US 60 has reopened to traffic between Superior and Miami after this morning's full closure.

ADOT and the project team would like to thank the public for their patience during the unexpected delay to remove a section of the old Pinto Creek Bridge.

No additional full closures are anticipated for the Pinto Creek project. However, motorists will encounter minor intermittent delays through autumn as crews haul material and debris out of the project site.

Motorists should proceed with caution, slow down, watch for equipment, and follow the directions of flaggers and law enforcement.

More information about the project is available at azdot.gov/PintoCreekBridge.

Full closure of US 60 between Superior, Miami schedule for Oct. 25

Full closure of US 60 between Superior, Miami schedule for Oct. 25

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Full closure of US 60 between Superior, Miami schedule for Oct. 25

Full closure of US 60 between Superior, Miami schedule for Oct. 25

October 20, 2021

GLOBE  – US 60 will close between Superior and Miami between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, while crews continue work to remove the old Pinto Creek Bridge.

During the closure, US 60 traffic will be detoured to SR 177 in Superior and SR 77 in Globe. The detour includes a 10% grade and will significantly increase travel time. Traffic will not be allowed to queue at the closure locations.

Motorists on US 60 with a destination between SR 177 and Top-of-the-World west of Pinto Creek or between Miami and Pinto Valley Mine Road east of Pinto Creek will be allowed to pass. However, no vehicles will be allowed between Top-of-the-World and Pinto Valley Mine Road.

Traffic shifted to the newly constructed bridge over Pinto Creek on Sept. 17. The old bridge, opened in 1949 with an estimated lifespan of 50 years, remained safe for traffic but had reached the end of its useful life.

Drivers should expect periodic lane restrictions and delays in the area through the rest of 2021 as crews continue to remove the bridge and restore the project site to its natural state.

For more information, please visit azdot.gov/PintoCreekBridge.

Salome founded by larger-than-life character

Salome founded by larger-than-life character

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Salome founded by larger-than-life character

Salome founded by larger-than-life character

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications
October 6, 2021

In Arizona, it seems like a never-ending trail of legendary, larger-than-life figures added their own brand of mischief and mayhem to the state's colorful past.

One of these was Iowa-born Dick Wick Hall, who moved to our state in 1898 to live with the Hopi in northeastern Arizona and learn their snake dance.

You can read a bit about this character on an historical marker in Salome on US 60 some 60 miles west of Wickenburg.

It says:

“Salome, where she danced. This desert town was made famous by the humor of Dick Wick Hall, health seeker and operator of the Laughing Gas Station."

“Hall’s publication, the Salome Sun, was filled with extravagant tales of the desert’s adaptation of a species. He told of a frog that was seven years old and never learned how to swim.”

If you want to know more about this character, there’s probably no better source than the McMullen Valley Chamber of Commerce, which has an entire website page dedicated to him and his place of importance in what the website calls “the heart of Arizona’s Outback.”

For starters, Dick Wick Hall, born Richard Deforest Hall, changed his name after falling in love with Wickenburg.

Miner, prospector, speculator, newspaper publisher, humorist and businessman, Hall became one of Salome’s founders in 1904.

He and fellow founder Charles Pratt called the area “Happy Valley” before settling on a name. It was during this time that Pratt’s wife, Salome Pratt, attempted to walk on the hot desert sand in her bare foot and wound up “dancing” to her destination.

“There and then Dick Wick Hall named the town 'Salome, where she danced, Arizona.’ The founder of Salome is honored with both a historical marker on Highway 60 and Center Street, and the historical gravesite near the site of his old office and home, located at the intersection of Center and Hall Streets,” the website says.

In addition to his newspaper, he opened the Laughing Gas Station, where he covered the walls with signs making fun of Arizona’s weather. Among these were one proclaiming “Free hot air” and another saying, “Smile, smile, smile. You don’t have to stay here but we do.”

Credited with being Arizona’s most famous humorist, Hall’s widely popular syndicated column was published in 28 newspapers from New York to California.

And of course, there was Hall’s famous “Salome Frog,” who never learned to swim because Salome was so hot, dusty and dry. Hall wrote a poem about his swim-less amphibian, which concludes: “I’m an Old Bull Frog, dang my hide, I can’t swim because I never tried.”

In one highway closure, ADOT completes multiple projects

In one highway closure, ADOT completes multiple projects

I-17 101 traffic interchange

In one highway closure, ADOT completes multiple projects

In one highway closure, ADOT completes multiple projects

September 22, 2021

GLOBE – While motorists who routinely travel between Superior and the Globe-Miami area may not know what’s involved with maintaining and repairing the only highway between the communities, they’ve come to know even small projects can mean big travel delays.

So when the Arizona Department of Transportation planned the most disruptive local project in recent memory - a five-day closure of US 60 for a bridge replacement project - work crews planned ahead to take advantage of a nearly traffic-free road.

From the time the highway closed late Sept. 12 to when it reopened midday Sept. 17, ADOT maintenance crews based in Superior and Globe spread out across the roughly 15-mile closure to take on multiple maintenance and repair projects at the same time.

Nearly all the work along this two-lane highway, which cuts through rugged terrain and lacks shoulders in many areas, would have required lane restrictions and delays for the safety of work crews and the public. With the public off the roadway, crews could perform all kinds of work more quickly and more safely than when sharing the road with traffic.

Best of all, the work means ADOT - and drivers - will avoid multiple future projects that would require disruptive restrictions or even closures.

ADOT crews performed work on and off the highway over five days. The most visible improvement was a chip seal project that started at Top-of-the-World and extended 4 miles to the east.

Other work included:

  • Repairing damage from this summer’s Telegraph Fire, which burned along miles of US 60
  • Removing rocks at risk of falling onto the highway
  • Trimming and removing vegetation that was blocking sight lines, uprooting rocks or at risk of falling on the road
  • Cleaning drainage systems to prevent flood damage
  • Installing conduit in the Queen Creek Tunnel for a future fiber optic cable project

ADOT coordinated the work with Ames Construction, which required the highway closure as the contractor on the $22.7 million Pinto Creek Bridge replacement project. ADOT crews needed to ensure Ames had constant use of US 60 to access the project site, where crews realigned US 60 to the newly completed bridge at Pinto Creek.

While traffic began using the new bridge Sept. 17, the project will extend through 2021 as crews remove the old structure and restore the project site to its natural state. More information about the project is available at azdot.gov/PintoCreekBridge.