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Gilbert Road Construction in SRPMIC to Be Completed in June

Crew members work near the pipe culvert on Gilbert Road and make repairs to the damged road which is due for completion in June.
Photo Courtesy Maricopa County Department of Transportation

Gilbert Road traffic near Lehi in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will soon be flowing more smoothly.

In March, the unbridged Salt River crossing on Gilbert Road was washed out by an upstream water release, forcing four lanes of traffic onto the two-way southbound bridge. Repairs are almost finished and the road is expected to be open again in early June, according to the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT). According to MCDOT traffic counts, the southbound lanes see an average of 7,632 vehicles on a regular day.

On April 3, MCDOT received the notice to proceed with the two-month project. The projected cost of the rebuilt crossing is $900,000.

“We have our crews out there right now. They are rebuilding the road that washed away,” said MCDOT Communications Branch Manager Nicole Moon. “The repairs will be done by the beginning of June.”

The new crossing will be very similar to the previous crossing, except MCDOT is rebuilding the roadway with more gabions. These are the wire boxes that hold in place the large stone and gravel (riprap) structures under the roadway and reduce the potential for erosion. MCDOT will also use larger pipes, which will allow more water to pass through.

Crew members stand on the gabion boxes (wired boxes filled with rocks) alongside Gilbert Road. These gabion boxes will help to prevent future erosion.
Photo Courtesy Maricopa County Department of Transportation
Even with the new improvements, an even larger project for that stretch of Gilbert Road is on the horizon. The $65 million Gilbert Road Bridge Project will include a four-lane bridge (two lanes in each direction). Construction will begin in 2019. The Community is expected to contribute $1 million to the construction of the new bridge. Overall funding will come from MCDOT, the Maricopa Association of Governments and SRPMIC. This project is currently in the design process.

“There is a capacity need to have two lanes in each direction on Gilbert Road because traffic warrants [it]. So for us, we want to get that level of service up so that we do have two lanes in each direction. This is why we are rebuilding the road now, instead of waiting until 2019. We want to make sure that everyone has that continued access and high level of service on the road because they need it,” said Moon.

Stay tuned for additional Gilbert Road updates.