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Eastbound U.S. 60 could reopen early next week; westbound lanes to be reconstructed, officials say

The City of Tempe said that eastbound U.S. 60 is set to reopen early next week following a water main break Saturday that caused flooding on the road.

TEMPE, Ariz. — The City of Tempe said Friday that the eastbound U.S. 60 is set to reopen early next week following a water main break Saturday that caused flooding on the road

The flooding happened after a 24-inch water transmission line broke, officials said. The line broke right in the middle of the freeway, leaving a large amount of water under the road.

Video from the city revealed torn-up steel where the rupture occurred. Engineers believe the erosion of the pipe was either caused by faulty construction or something in the soil.

Tempe’s Water Utility crews isolated the break and shut off the water to the location. Residential and commercial water services were not impacted, Tempe city officials said.

The water transmission main line is nearly 50 years old and is supposed to have a shelflife of 75 years.

Officials said concrete has been poured and asphalt will be applied Saturday, followed by lane striping, on the damaged eastbound HOV lane at McClintock Drive. 

The city said due to severe damage, there is no estimated time frame for reopening the westbound lanes.  

Crews are still investigating what caused the water main to break.

McClintock Drive overpass

Lane restrictions on the McClintock Drive overpass spanning the U.S. 60 remain in effect, officials said. 

One northbound lane and one southbound lane are open and the left turn lanes are closed. 

Drivers are encouraged to use other north-south routes and, when possible, avoid McClintock Drive between Southern Avenue and Baseline Road. There is no time estimate for the length of the overpass restrictions, officials said.

Earlier this week, the McClintock overpass was temporarily closed while ADOT engineers evaluated surface cracks in two of the bridge support columns located between the east and westbound lanes. 

Following an inspection, engineers found the structure is safe for travel with lane restrictions. The column surfaces will be monitored as part of the ongoing assessment of any effects of the water line break, officials said.

The pedestrian bridge spanning the freeway immediately east of the overpass is open.

Water line repair

City officials said the break in the 24-inch steel cylinder water transmission line is not under the freeway itself – it is behind a retaining wall near the top of the McClintock Drive westbound off-ramp. 

The off-freeway location will allow city crews and contractors to repair the water line independent of the freeway repair work and freeway re-opening, officials said. 

For more information, visit tempe.gov/US60.

Information from ADOT

Eastbound US 60 is closed between the I-10 interchange and McClintock Drive. The eastbound US 60 on-ramp at McClintock Drive is open but drivers should expect delays due to heavier traffic and possible work-related restrictions. The southbound State Route 143 on-ramp at University Drive also is closed.

Westbound US 60 is closed between Loop 101 and McClintock Drive. Drivers are able to use westbound US 60 on-ramps at McClintock Drive, Rural Road and Mill Avenue since those ramps are located west of the area where repair work is taking place.

Detours: Westbound US 60 traffic approaching the closure is being detoured to the north- or southbound Loop 101. Drivers who travel north on Loop 101 can then use westbound Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) toward Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or the downtown Phoenix area. Motorists who use southbound Loop 101 can use westbound Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) in the Chandler area to connect with I-10.

Drivers on I-10 who normally would use eastbound US 60 should consider using either eastbound Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) to northbound Loop 101 or eastbound Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway) to southbound Loop 101 to reach US 60 beyond the closure. 

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