Ground broken on Connie’s Bridge replacement

David Sowders/Arizona Silver Belt A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Upper Pinal Creek Bridge was held last Tuesday morning. Speakers included Globe Mayor Al Gameros (far left) and Arizona State Representative David Cook (eighth from left).

A groundbreaking ceremony last Tuesday morning celebrated the launch of the long-awaited Upper Pinal Creek Bridge (aka Connie’s Bridge) replacement project. Handling the ceremonial shovels were City of Globe councilmembers and staff, representatives of the project contractor, and guests including Arizona State Representative David Cook and Gila County Supervisors Woody Cline and Tim Humphrey.

After welcoming the attendees, Mayor Al Gameros gave highlights of the enterprise. It will include a new 85-foot, two-span bridge with lighting, removal of the existing bridge, upgrading the Broad Street/Hill Street intersection, a new railroad crossing with signals and gates, and improvement of Hill Street between Broad Street and Highway 60. The last of these will consist of repaving, sidewalk construction, reconstruction of the Hill Street/High Street intersection, road striping and minor drainage repair.

The project was facilitated by two State legislative appropriations, and for these Gameros thanked both Cook and the late Frank Pratt. He also praised the efforts of City staff, spearheaded by City Engineer Jerry Barnes, in bringing it all to fruition. Barnes would be saluted that same evening, at a City Council meeting, on the occasion of his retirement.

The project was awarded to Meridian Engineering under a $5.4 million contract, and a Meridian representative gave Council an update Tuesday night. Water line relocation, a key early component of the work, was expected to be finished by mid-February, after which the bridge work would start. The project is currently anticipated to be substantially complete in mid-September 2023, with total completion projected for mid-November.

Council also approved a $47,000 contract for a project inspector, funds for which have been budgeted as part of the project, though the position is currently unfilled. Barnes reported that an inspector had been lined up, but those plans had fallen through. Nevertheless, the item went ahead in order to have funding in place when an inspector is found. Until then an interim group including Barnes and City of Globe consultant Rick Powers will handle project inspection.

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