Received this notice from the County today: "Please be advised that Technology Construction, Inc., in conjunction with Yavapai County, will be performing bridge work on Perkinsville Road timber bridge eight miles east of Highway 89 in the Chino Valley area. Construction work will consist of replacing the timber bridge deck, replacing the bridge barrier rail, miscellaneous concrete repair work, asphalt paving, and updating the guardrail. Construction will begin February 24, 2020 and continue through April 30, 2020. A constructed one-lane detour will remain open at all times; however, motorists may encounter reduced speeds, and flagging operations throughout the work zone. Motorists should expect minor delays and allow extra time to get through the construction area. Please follow all traffic control devices when travelling through the work zone."
"For additional information, please contact Yavapai County Public Works at 928-771-3183 or visit us on the web at www.yavapai.us/publicworks.”
The bridge to be rehabilitated is on level land at the crossing of Suncrest Ranch Road and Perkinsville Road. If you ever want a scenic drive to Jerome, just get on Perkinsville Road and keep going. Make sure your car can do rough roads and that your tires are in good repair. This road may be scenic, but it’s not a highway, that’s for sure!
Arizona Highways describes it like this, "Shortly, the road turns and changes dramatically. These last few miles are not for the acrophobic or lead-footed. You’ll be negotiating a winding, gravelly one-lane road carved out of the hills that follow the old bed of the United Verde & Pacific Railway. There’s no guardrail to prevent cars from plummeting off the cliff, which is frustrating, given the views that tempt your eyes off the road. The whole valley spreads out below, with beige hills undulating into Sedona’s red rocks and Humphreys Peak standing blue on the horizon. Then there’s the unique opportunity of approaching the mile-high hill town of Jerome from above."
You may be wondering why the County would invest precious road building dollars to work on a dirt road bridge over a mostly-dry creek out in the middle of nothingness. It’s a reasonable question.
Looking at the bridge from this direction, you would hardly know that there’s a bridge except for the guard rails, which aren’t exactly in great shape.
This bridge was built in the 1930’s, so it’s somewhere between 80-90 years old. Just for that reason alone, it’s probably a good idea to do some maintenance. But, head on down the makeshift detour road they’ve created for use during construction, and suddenly it all becomes quite clear.
For non-bridge experts, the construction of this bridge that carries you over a 10-20 foot deep gully is rather startling. You can see it easily from the side, even if it is not noticeable when looking down on the surface. Girders span the gully in the same direction of the road. Then, on top of the girders, is a row of planks, stood on edge. On top of that, about 8 inches of dirt is piled on and flattened down to provide a relatively smooth surface. The easiest way to explain it is to show the photos.
These wooden planks appear to be disintegrating and rotting. The soil surrounding the concrete doesn’t look stable, either.
For safety’s sake, it’s a project that is probably long overdue.