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First concrete decks poured on bridges for South Mountain Freeway

Bridge decks taking shape at 40th Street in Ahwatukee, Salt River bridges
December 06, 2017

PHOENIX – Construction equipment is now able to travel over 40th Street using new concrete bridge decks that eventually will carry traffic on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.

SmtnPourAnother sign of progress on a 22-mile freeway that’s scheduled to open by late 2019, deck construction is one of the final steps in building a bridge. At 40th Street in Ahwatukee, the work followed several months of fabricating and installing piers, abutments and girders.

In November, crews pumped approximately 235 cubic yards of concrete, enough to fill more than 20 dump trucks, into the eastbound and westbound steel-reinforced bridge decks during several nightly closures at the 40th Street and Pecos Road intersection. 

Then a self-propelled concrete leveling machine, called a bidwell, spread the concrete to ensure a flat surface throughout. After the concrete has had an opportunity to cure and reach maximum strength, vehicles can travel over the bridge.

Concrete approach and support slabs were also poured on the eastbound bridge, while the next phase of bridge construction will include adding concrete barriers. The bridges will be painted during the final stages of the project.

Deck construction is also occurring on the two half-mile-long bridges over the Salt River in Laveen and will occur next week at the Roosevelt Avenue bridge, just south of the Interstate 10/59th Avenue interchange in west Phoenix. Similar to 40th Street, nightly closures will be needed to complete the Roosevelt Avenue deck pour.

The South Mountain Freeway will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix. Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Valley.

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