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South Mountain Freeway bridges over Salt River two-thirds complete

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX –Construction on the two half-mile long bridges on the South Mountain freeway were nearing completion.

A news release from the Arizona Department of Transportation said Wednesday that the bridges over the Salt River in the Phoenix area were two-thirds complete.

Work initially began on the bridges in February 2017. Since then, crews have completed the piers and abutments. Work was now focused on the bridges’ girders, decks and railings.

To date, 238 of the 292 girders — 81 percent — have been set.

The girders were manufactured locally and weighed 169,000 pounds each. They required two large cranes to work in tandem to hoist and place them. They were the longest precast girders ever installed by ADOT.

ADOT predicted that all the bridge girders will be in place by fall 2018, at which point construction equipment will be able to travel across the bridges for the first time. This will aid further work needed to build the freeway mainline.

First approved by Maricopa County in 1985 and again in 2004, the South Mountain Freeway will provide a long-planned link between the East and West valleys and will give relief to existing freeway corridors and local streets.

The freeway was expected to be completed in late 2019 and will serve the growing areas of the southwest Valley.

KTAR News 92.3