Work will begin this winter to repair Scottsdale’s Drinkwater Boulevard Underpass and 68th Street bridge. Emergency funding to repair the damaged infrastructure was approved by the City Council Oct. 16. Portions of both bridges were closed earlier this year due to structural concerns found during inspections.
The money to pay for repairs will come primarily from deferring other planned projects and using savings from recently completed projects.
The 68th Street bridge spans the Arizona Canal just north of Indian School Road. The bridge’s inside lanes were closed after a routine inspection discovered deterioration of the structure. Further inspection and testing of the structure determined the entire bridge needed to be replaced – work will occur January through March 2019 and cost approximately $3.4 million.
The Drinkwater Boulevard Underpass, between Second Street and Indian School Road, was closed after inspections uncovered structural deterioration. The closure also included portions of the Civic Center Mall, a popular event and community space. Work will begin this December to build a new supporting wall below the mall structure and fill in an open area of the bridge deck. Repairs will cost about $6.6 million and are scheduled to be complete next fall.
The Drinkwater underpass was built in the mid-1980s and allowed expansion of the mall, an open space of grass, shade trees, public art and fountains.
While a small portion of the mall will be closed for about the next year, the balance of the 11-acre site remains open, and Scottsdale’s iconic LOVE sculpture is once again accessible. The sculpture was recently relocated closer to the Civic Center Library to an area that provides a better backdrop and improved lighting for photographs.
The city’s tourism and events team is working with Scottsdale Arts and other producers to ensure events such as Scottsdale Arts Festival and Culinary Festival continue at the location with minimal disruption during construction. A pedestrian walkway was recently added linking the east and west portions of the mall.
Learn more about the 68th Street bridge project here.
Learn more about the Drinkwater bridge/Civic Center Mall project here.