Crews are in the second week of work constructing bridge girders for a new bridge over the Gila River in Florence.
The project began in February where State Route 79 crosses the normally dry riverbed east of Interstate 10.
Crews are now working to construct bridge girders for the new structure and are 36 % complete with the $22.1 million project, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The project in Florence is expected to be complete in 2023.
The girder work requires overnight restrictions and delays at times, and that will be the case through the weekend.
“One benefit to drivers is ADOT developed the replacement project with an innovative plan that keeps both lanes of traffic open on SR 79 during peak hours aside from a few days of lane restrictions toward the end of the project,” ADOT officials stated in the release.
“That’s because crews are constructing the bridge in two halves - one on each side of the existing structure - and will slide the pieces together later.
Some of the new piers are in place under the existing bridge while also extending out on either side. The extra width is where each new bridge half will be constructed.
Eventually, crews will dismantle the existing structure and then slide the segments into their permanent home.
That, ADOT officials stated, will require two weekends in which the bridge is restricted to a single lane, and a temporary traffic signal will allow only one direction of traffic to flow at a time.
Throughout the project, drivers should expect a reduced speed limit and occasional lane restrictions, ADOT advises.
Also, some overnight vehicles may need to use an alternate route. For safety purposes, pedestrians, bicyclists and offroad vehicles are asked to stay out of the work zone in the riverbed and use an alternate route, according to ADOT.
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