US 60 east of metro Phoenix reopens with new Pinto Creek bridge in place
PHOENIX – After a nearly weeklong closure in both directions, U.S. 60 east of metro Phoenix reopened Friday with a shiny new bridge in place.
The new Pinto Creek bridge replaced a 72-year-old structure on the only highway between Superior and Miami.
The $22.7 million project started nearly two years ago. U.S. 60 was closed Sunday night until just before noon Friday so crews could realign the roadway to the bridge, the Arizona Department of Transportation said in a press release.
Traffic was redirected onto State Routes 77 and 177 through Winkleman during the closure, which added about an hour of travel time to the 17.5-mile drive between Superior and Miami.
The nearly 700-foot-long bridge is located about 75 miles east of downtown Phoenix. It has two lanes in each direction with 8-foot-wide shoulders and can handle heavier loads then the old one, which opened in 1949 and lasted 22 years past its estimated lifespan.
“U.S. 60 is a critical route for passenger vehicles and commercial traffic, including heavy loads from mines in the area,” ADOT Southeast District Engineer Bill Harmon said in the release. “By completing this new bridge at Pinto Creek, we’re making sure the highway will remain reliable and safe for decades to come.”
About 7,200 vehicles a day are expected to use the bridge, ADOT said.
Drivers should expect occasional lane restrictions until the end of the year as crews work to remove the old bridge and restore the site to its natural state.