US 60 remains closed between I-10 and Loop 101 in Tempe for water main repairs

(Courtesy ADOT)
(Courtesy ADOT)

(Courtesy ADOT)

Crews are continuing to work to repair a 24-inch city of Tempe water transmission line that broke over the weekend in the middle of the US 60, leading to flooding and the temporary full closure of the freeway between I-10 and Loop 101, according to the city of Tempe.

There is not yet an estimated time for repair work to be completed, city officials said in a release May 8, and cost estimates for the repair are not known at this time.

On May 8, city crews shut off a water main believed to still be feeding water into the transmission line spanning the freeway, according to the release. That has temporarily interrupted water service to two business complexes along McClintock Drive. The city is providing temporary water to those buildings so they can conduct business May 9.

City crews and contractors are working alongside the Arizona Department of Transportation to assess the damage and begin the process of making repairs. This entails placing a camera in the line to detect the exact location of the break. Once located, the line is 13 feet below the surface, so digging will need to occur—followed by the repair, repaving and inspections before traffic can resume, according to the release.

When pumped out of the freeway area, the water that surfaced returns back to the stormwater system, according to the city.

The city has been actively planning for a new program of systematic assessments of water lines. The impacted water transmission line is made of steel and was installed in 1973 and would typically have a 75-year life expectancy. This is the first break of its kind of a transmission line in Tempe, according to the city.

ADOT is advising the use of the Loop 202 freeways as alternative paths for drivers, according to ADOT.

Eastbound US 60 is closed between the I-10 interchange and Loop 101. Westbound US 60 is closed between Loop 101 and McClintock Drive. Drivers are able to use westbound US 60 on-ramps between McClintock Drive and I-10 since those ramps are located west of the water line break, according to ADOT.

Westbound US 60 traffic approaching the closure is being detoured to north- or southbound Loop 101. Drivers who travel north on Loop 101 can then use westbound Loop 202 toward Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or the downtown Phoenix area. Motorists who use southbound Loop 101 can use westbound Loop 202 in the Chandler area to connect with I-10, according to ADOT.

Drivers on I-10 who normally would use eastbound US 60 should consider using either eastbound Loop 202 to northbound Loop 101 or eastbound Loop 202 to southbound Loop 101 to reach eastbound US 60 beyond the closure, according to ADOT.