68th Street Bridge
A routine inspection of the 68th Street bridge over the Arizona Canal, just north of Indian School Road, discovered deterioration that will require substantial repair. Given the nature and extent of the deterioration, the city closed the two inside lanes of traffic on the bridge in mid-January.
Over the last month, a detailed inspection of the bridge has taken place and it has been determined that the entire bridge structure and substructure needs to be replaced.
Now that we know what needs to be done, the city will hire an engineering firm to design the new bridge and substructure. This work will take 4-6 months to complete. Repair work will most likely take place in the fall, but a final schedule will be based on how quickly the design work can be done.
The inside two lanes of the bridge will remain closed while design work is complete. Scottsdale’s Traffic Management Center has adjusted signal timing in the area to accommodate the lane closures.
All bridges in Scottsdale’s street network are inspected every two years to ensure they are safe for vehicles and pedestrians.
Frequently Asked Questions
A routine inspection of the 68th Street bridge discovered deterioration of the underside of the bridge that will require substantial repair.
Given the nature and extent of the deterioration, the city closed the two inside lanes of traffic on the bridge in mid-January. The most extensive damage to the bridge is under the center lanes. The 68th Street bridge has gone through an extensive inspection and it has be determined that the outside lanes are currently safe for travel.
The bridge will not be fixed, but entirely replaced. Unfortunately, the rest of the bridge is subject to the same type of deterioration that has occurred to the center spans of the bridge so it will be safer and more cost effective to replace the entire bridge.
The new bridge and the substructure to hold it up must be designed then constructed. Design is anticipated to take 4 – 6 months. Additionally, because this is an emergency repair, funding for this project must be identified then approved by City Council. Council will then again approve the design contract and ultimately the construction contract. Once the new structure is designed, it will be easier to determine how long construction may take.
Unfortunately, it has been determined that the center two lanes are not safe for travel. Work has been occurring, but you can’t always see it. Over the last month, a detailed inspection of the bridge has taken place including concrete sampling and lab analysis of the concrete makeup. The inside two lanes of the bridge will remain closed for several months while design work is being finished.
No, since there are two travel lanes open over the bridge, 68th Street will remain open to all traffic during the design phase. Once construction begins, traffic control patterns may change.
Scottsdale’s Traffic Management Center has adjusted signal timing in the area to accommodate the lane closures. During peak travel hours green lights are longer to allow the same amount of cars to pass through the intersection using the reduced number of travel lanes.
In general, a detour route is only posted if there is a full closure on a roadway. Currently the lanes on the bridge are only restricted, not fully closed, so we would not post a detour route. During the construction phase a detour route may be required.