Construction workers building two new lanes on State Route 260 near Verde Village began receiving and placing pre-formed pre-stressed girders this week that will form the deck on the two new bridges. The bridges span two canyons.
Bill Williams of the Arizona Transportation Department says the Wilber Canyon Bridge, closest to Camp Verde, is 600 feet long rising 85 feet above the canyon floor.
Twenty-five of the 100-foot long girders are needed to span the canyon. Fifteen more of the huge girders will be placed for the Black Canyon Wash Bridge, nearest Verde Village, which is half the length of the Wilber Canyon Bridge. The pillars that support the girders are nine feet in diameter.
Construction began in March and, according to Williams, the project is slightly ahead of schedule now. The new lanes will be open to traffic this fall when the existing two lanes of SR 260 will be rebuilt for the two-mile section from Western Drive to Thousand Trails. The $14 million project is now 44 percent complete.
There are no other four-lane projects for SR 260 in the current ADOT five-year plan. Safety improvements are being designed for the balance of the highway eastbound to Interstate 17. Now estimated to cost $7.8 million, the improvements will construct climbing lanes, flatten slopes for improved sight distance, widen shoulders, re-align intersections and consolidate the access of Cherry Road, the Yavapai Justice facility and Old 279 and discussions continue with stakeholders on potential improvements.
Williams says those improvements are detailed at http://azdot.gov/prescottprojects.