The Sacaton Road Bridge acts as the main outlet to the Phoenix area from the Gila River Indian Community. The old bridge, built in 1961, was frequently overtopped during rain events, and the community sought a new bridge to improve roadway safety and hydraulic capacity.

The project was originally slated as a traditional design-bid-build project. However, during the design phase, the ownership tacked toward joining the Strategic Highway Research Program, which provides grants to projects that use the Accelerated Bridge Construction toolkit and techniques.

The project team successfully designed and constructed a bridge replacement using just a single weekend closure and a nine-day closure, compared with the estimated six months’ closure required in a conventional construction.

During construction of the $2.7-million bridge, the older span remained open to traffic up until the final slide of new bridge sections occurred. Once the old structure was demolished, two girders and bridge decks were slid together to form the new surface. The project featured the first lateral bridge slide in Arizona.

The construction team educated other industry professionals on accelerated bridge construction at seven different presentations to industry professionals, including inviting more than 100 people to the bridge slide.

Begun in October 2014, the accelerated methodology reduced the impact that construction had on traffic by 22 weeks. 

Sacaton Bridge Replacement

Sacaton, Ariz.

Key Players
Gila River Indian Community Dept. of Transportation
General Contractor FNF Construction
Lead Design Firm Aztec Engineering
Consultancy Services Horrocks Engineers; Finn Hubbard Fish Associates