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transportation
ACCIDENTS
Arizona Highway Bridge Falls During Construction
 
By Tony Illia
Arizona Dept. of Transportation
A 114-ft. bridge section under construction on the Loop Red Mountain Highway in Mesa, Ariz., collapsed on Aug. 9. No one was injured.

On Aug. 9, a 114–ft–long bridge section that was under construction collapsed in Mesa, Ariz. Nine of 11 precast reinforced girders of a future bridge on the Loop 202 Red Mountain Highway, just east of Power Road, fell 25–ft from their pier caps at approximately 8:30 a.m. No one was injured. The 2.5–ft–wide, 105,000–lb. girders on the westbound lanes of the bridge had been placed atop the pier caps three weeks ago. They were awaiting final bracing with precast concrete diaphragms when the incident occurred. Portions of the girders fell into the Central Arizona Project's nearby canal. The girders cracked upon impact and will be replaced at the contractor's expense, while the pier caps sustained only minor scraping. "We're uncertain what triggered the collapse, but a full investigation is now under way," says Doug Nintzel, Arizona Dept. of Transportation spokesman.

"As with all ADOT projects, officials will conduct a rigorous inspection of the bridge before approving it," says Doug Nintzel, Arizona Dept. of Transportation spokesman. "The incident will not affect the completion date of the final segment of the Loop 202, which is expected to open in late summer 2008."

Royden Construction Co., Phoenix, is the subcontractor responsible for girder manufacturing and erection. Pulice Construction Inc., Phoenix, is the general contractor for the 4.5–mile, $195–million project that completes the final Loop 202 segment through Mesa and connects at University Drive. Pulice replaced a defective bridge pier earlier this year. The contractor discovered the problem, removed and rebuilt at its expense, ADOT says.

The collapse won't affect Gov. Janet Napolitano's order last week for ADOT workers to inspect all Arizona bridges. That order came after a bridge collapse last week in Minnesota, where at least five people were killed. ADOT has 4,720 interstate and state highway bridges with less than 1% listed as "structurally deficient," meaning they need some type of repair.

 

 


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