A Honeycutt Road bridge may not get repairs for some time.
The soil under the east and west approaches of the bridge, which crosses Santa Cruz Wash just west of the Rancho Mirage development, has consolidated, or changed, probably due to moisture infiltration from irrigation or stormwater runoff, according to Maricopa City Manager Rick Horst.
The City has yet to conduct geotechnical testing to confirm the source of the problem, but has included funds for testing in its proposed long-range capital projects budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1, according to Horst. Funds are also earmarked for the preparation of design criteria to repair the foundations of the approaches, if necessary. The council discussed the project as part of a recent budget meeting.
The two-lane, 30-foot-long bridge, which carries an average of about 8,100 vehicles daily, was built by Pinal County in 2007 as part of plans approved for the construction of the Rancho Mirage subdivision to provide for a dry crossing of Santa Cruz Wash without heading south of town, said Horst.
There are no current concerns about the safety of the bridge, he said.
Honeycutt Road serves as the main vehicular artery for residents living in the easternmost HOAs of the city – Rancho Mirage, Sorrento and Tortosa – so the city will have to complete another road project before starting any work needed on the bridge.
With a bridge repair likely to require a full closure of Honeycutt Road, the city’s official detour would be Bowlin Road, which is currently undergoing improvements due to be completed in FY 2021, Horst said.
The Bowlin project would create a raised crossing over the Santa Cruz Wash south of the Honeycutt Road bridge. The $978,000 project between White & Parker Road and Anthony Boulevard in Rancho Mirage would include a temporary surface treatment to smooth travel over the dirt portions of Bowlin, officials have said. The crossing is needed to improve “vehicular connectivity, improve response times of the fire department and provide relief to congestion on Honeycutt Road,” the city has said.
“With the new signal at Honeycutt and White & Parker, and the addition of the connection along Bowlin Road, there will be adequate travel lanes in support of the growing population in the eastern segment of the City,” Horst said.
In a separate project, resurfacing of Honeycutt Road – from Plainview Street to North White & Parker Road – will begin Friday. The first phase will be from Plainview to the bridge over Santa Rosa Wash. The city has announced the schedule of work for the first phase:
Friday, May 8: Lower manholes and water valves
Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12: Milling of the asphalt surface
May 13, 14 and 15: Paving
May 16: Striping of the road
May 19 – Adjust utilities
Phase II will from the bridge to White & Parker. A schedule for this work will be given at a later date.