Tempe: Replaced section of rail bridge needs to look like original

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Union Pacific is getting ready to repair the section of bridge that collapsed following a derailment in Arizona.
Arizona Republic

The portion of the bridge that collapsed in Tempe, Ariz., will be rebuilt. Inspectors said the sections of the steel truss bridge that did not fail are structurally safe. Union Pacific is still evaluating the structure to see if there are any other repairs necessary.

The site was being prepped on Aug. 3 for the arrival of two cranes that will assist in the rebuilding effort. Crane pads will be built for the equipment.

The city of Tempe wants the reconstructed section to look like the rest of the bridge, which was built in 1912. Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said the city would have the opportunity to weigh in on the final design.

Once they get the all clear from Union Pacific, Tempe will repair any damage to Tempe Beach Park. A portion of the park east of the bridge may reopen soon.

Union Pacific also has gathered water samples from a nearby spillway and sediment samples in spots downstream of the spillway. Cyclohexanone was in some of the tanker cars and did spill as a result of the derailment. Results are expected sometime this week.

Union Pacific contractors used containment booms to trap debris from the crash and construction on the surface of Tempe Town Lake, making it easier for crews to remove material from the water.

A timetable for the bridge construction is still not known, and the investigation into the derailment is still pending.

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