ADOT: Emergency repairs were result of ‘monumental effort’ to avoid extended I-10 closure
WILLCOX, Ariz. (13 News) - The Arizona Department of Transportation praised the contractors, law enforcement agencies and its New Mexico counterpart for their efforts after a deadly crash forced an extended closure of I-10 and emergency repairs of a damaged overpass in southeastern Arizona on Wednesday, May 3.
The repairs allowed highway officials to reopen the highway only two days after it was closed.
A temporary structure is in place at the US 191 bridge at I-10 milepost 331, allowing ADOT to make a long-term plan for future steps. At a minimum, the pier, girders and deck where the crash occurred will likely need to be replaced.
Immediately after the crash, though, ADOT had to reopen the roadway quickly while keeping safety as the No. 1 goal.
After a tractor-trailer crash caused significant damage to the support structure of the US 191 bridge over westbound Interstate 10 west of Willcox, crews worked around the clock to demolish the damaged bridge pier and erect a temporary support structure.
“I am proud of our ADOT team members and dedicated contractors who quickly identified and executed this emergency project,” ADOT Director Jennifer Toth said. “They safely set up detours, got the necessary team in place and worked around the clock to reopen this key corridor in less than two days.”
Approved by ADOT’s Bridge Group, supervised by engineers in ADOT’s Southeast District and made possible by an emergency procurement, the project engaged Granite Construction Inc. as the prime contractor. Hours after the Arizona Department of Public Safety completed its crash investigation, ADOT and the contractor began demolition work.
ADOT said the intensity of effort, the dedication and the commitment to safety behind this work can’t be seen by the public driving past the temporary structure, but it is what made it possible.
A welder who was on site for nearly the entirety of the project told ADOT engineers that he is 80 years old but still at it for his son’s company, which was a subcontractor.
“I’ve retired six times but love what I do,” he said.
ADOT said state, county and local law enforcement agencies along the detour routes and southeastern Arizona counties and municipalities generously assisted in the monumental effort. The New Mexico Department of Transportation assisted with closing westbound I-10 at Roadforks, New Mexico.
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