GLOBE – While motorists who routinely travel between Superior and the Globe-Miami area may not know what’s involved with maintaining and repairing the only highway between the communities, they’ve come to know even small projects can mean big travel delays.
So when the Arizona Department of Transportation planned the most disruptive local project in recent memory – a five-day closure of US 60 for a bridge replacement project – work crews planned ahead to take advantage of a nearly traffic-free road.
From the time the highway closed late Sept. 12 to when it reopened midday Sept. 17, ADOT maintenance crews based in Superior and Globe spread out across the roughly 15-mile closure to take on multiple maintenance and repair projects at the same time.
Nearly all the work along this two-lane highway, which cuts through rugged terrain and lacks shoulders in many areas, would have required lane restrictions and delays for the safety of work crews and the public. With the public off the roadway, crews could perform all kinds of work more quickly and more safely than when sharing the road with traffic.
Best of all, the work means ADOT – and drivers – will avoid multiple future projects that would require disruptive restrictions or even closures.
ADOT crews performed work on and off the highway over five days. The most visible improvement was a chip seal project that started at Top-of-the-World and extended 4 miles to the east.
Other work included:
• Repairing damage from this summer’s Telegraph Fire, which burned along miles of US 60
• Removing rocks at risk of falling onto the highway
• Trimming and removing vegetation that was blocking sight lines, uprooting rocks or at risk of falling on the road
• Cleaning drainage systems to prevent flood damage
• Installing conduit in the Queen Creek Tunnel for a future fiber optic cable project
ADOT coordinated the work with Ames Construction, which required the highway closure as the contractor on the $22.7 million Pinto Creek Bridge replacement project. ADOT crews needed to ensure Ames had constant use of US 60 to access the project site, where crews realigned US 60 to the newly completed bridge at Pinto Creek.
While traffic began using the new bridge Sept. 17, the project will extend through 2021 as crews remove the old structure and restore the project site to its natural state. More information about the project is available at azdot.gov/PintoCreekBridge.
ADOT works to improve sight lines by removing vegetation along US 60 between Superior and Miami. Photos courtesy Arizona Department of Transportation or ADOT