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The Arizona Department of Transportation has laid out the scope of the work to be done to the Farmers’ Bridge near the community of Cibola in southern La Paz County. La Paz County has been looking to upgrade the bridge for some time.

The project is anticipated to begin in summer of 2020 and last about five months.

The bridge was built in 1981 with funds raised by local farmers, hence the name. It is the only paved entrance in and out of Cibola as well as the only paved access to the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. It is used by school busses and emergency vehicles to access Cibola, and it is the only road into Cibola that is wide enough for much farm equipment to use.

In a scoping letter, ADOT said the bridge is structurally deficient for the amount of traffic it carries, and it lacks basic safety features. The bridge is also unusable for pedestrians due to the existing steel pipe grate deck across the third span of the bridge.

The scope of the project will include the following:

Removing the replacing the existing bridge railing and roadway approach to meet current design standards.

Constructing new concrete end blocks at the ends of the bridge railings to provide a connection point for the new roadway guardrail.

Constructing two catch basins and a storm drain pipe on River Road north of the bridge.

Constructing new wingwalls at the bridge abutments and repairing erosion of the abutment slopes.

Reconstructing the existing bridge roadway approaches to convey runoff away from the bridge abutments.

Overlaying the existing bridge deck with a polymer epoxy bridge deck overlay.

Installing steel decking along one edge of the third span’s existing steel pipe grate deck to enable pedestrian crossings of the bridge.

Installing a temporary containment system on Farmers’ Bridge that will prevent falling debris and construction materials from contaminating the Colorado River during project construction.

Removing and replacing existing roadway signage, and installing new temporary and permanent signage as needed.

The scoping letter goes on to say no right-of-way will need to be acquired, although temporary construction easements will be outside the county’s jurisdiction. The county will need to upgrade its existing Coast Guard bridge permit based on the improvements to the bridge.

La Paz County will hold a Public Information Meeting regarding upcoming rehabilitation work on Farmer’s Bridge. Farmer’s Bridge crosses the Colorado River connecting La Paz County, Arizona and Imperial County, California. The meeting will be held on November 13, 2019 at 11:00am at Cibola Historical Park 5776 Baseline Road, Cibola, Arizona. Residents of Cibola, Arizona and Imperial County residents that live in the vicinity of Neighbors Boulevard are strongly encouraged to attend.

The scoping letter was also intended to solicit comments on the project based on the scope described. Comments and concerns should be submitted by Nov. 25 to ADOT, c/o Colleen Murray at Archaeological Consulting Services, 424 W. Broadway Road, Tempe, Ariz. 85282. Her phone number is 480-894-5477 and her e-mail is cmurray@acstempe.com.

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