Located on the Gila River below the community of Arlington and adjacent to the Gillespie Dam, the bridge, though obsolete, has been in continuous use for eighty years. The bridge went into service in 1927 as an all-weather crossing of the Gila River. As part of U.S. 80, the bridge was a component in the early transcontinental highway system. Listed on the National Register, the bridge possesses a high degree of integrity and provides a local transportation corridor for daily travel and during times of high water on the Gila River. It’s also the only suspension bridge in Maricopa County and one of very few in Arizona.
The bridge is in danger of failure and catastrophic loss due to bent steel truss compression members, deficient roller bearings that distribute weight and adjust thermal stresses, and the potential of washout during a significant flood event. Action is needed to repair and restore the structure so it can continue to be used and appreciated for the future.
[For more information, contact the Maricopa County Department of Transportation at 602-506-8600.]