Scottsdale will use funds set aside for trail, road and sidewalk improvements to pay some of the more than $13-million required to fix two bridges in the Old Town area.
City leaders said routine inspections revealed severe structural issues with the Civic Center Mall bridge over Drinkwater Road and a bridge on 68th Street, north of Indian School Road. Part of Drinkwater Road has been closed since July over safety concerns and the 68th Street bridge was reduced from four lanes of traffic to two lanes.
Last week, city council voted to transfer funds for the emergency repairs. A roughly $1.2-million Loop 101 frontage road project and $390,000 trails project in the WestWorld area were among the items canceled. Other completed projects came in under budget, helping offset the cost.
“It’s unfortunate but it’s a reality,” Council member David Smith said during the Oct. 16 meeting. “We are sacrificing projects or moving them out beyond conceivable time. We are moving money between funds with no evidence of how we're going to repay it so I am not satisfied,” he said.
Public works director Daniel Worth told ABC15 the city hasn’t “lost sight” of the other projects.
“We’re still going to try and find ways to fund them,” he said, adding the items will be reviewed again next budget cycle.
Worth said addressing the bridge issues will benefit all residents “because of the importance that [the Old Town area] has for the tourism industry.”
Spring Training games and other events “generate revenue that gets used citywide,” he said.