Scottsdale’s Drinkwater Boulevard underpass was closed to all traffic this morning to permit work to reinforce the supporting bridge structure. Pedestrian areas above the bridge were also closed, restricting access to areas of the Civic Center Mall.
The closures will remain in effect until inspections are completed over the next several days. A timeline for repairs and projected reopening will be announced after that process is complete.
That portion of Drinkwater Boulevard – between Second Street and Indian School Road -- is part of a couplet system that carries through traffic around the Old Town area of Scottsdale. Recommended alternative routes during the closure are Scottsdale, Miller and Hayden roads.
The closure will also affect pedestrian access to popular areas of the Civic Center Mall, including the Love Sculpture. All vehicle and pedestrian traffic should obey signs and stay out of restricted areas during the repair process.
Workers were conducting an inspection of the Drinkwater Bridge this morning when they determined water damage from leaking fountains required the closures in advance of structural repairs.
The Drinkwater Bridge was constructed in the mid 1980s, expanding the Civic Center Mall area and providing better vehicle access to areas of Old Town.
The pedestrian overpass connects civic buildings such as City Hall and the Civic Center Library to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and creates an open space for festivals, concerts and several popular pieces of public art, including the Love Sculpture and water fountains.
Leaks from those fountains led to concerns in recent years that damage was occurring to portions of the bridge. Today’s inspection was part of a project approved last month to determine the extent of damage and the scope of required repairs.
That investigative process will continue while the roadway and pedestrian areas are closed. The next phase will include repairs, plus construction of a waterproofing and drainage system for the bridge.