The Challenge

Bridge Age:  The bridge was constructed in 1962 and is nearing the end of its useful service life. Bridge Height:  The existing vertical clearance of 13 feet, 11 inches over Central Avenue does not meet current design standards, prohibiting high-profile vehicles from using Central Avenue beneath the bridge, and cannot accommodate Valley Metro’s future South Central Light Rail Extension(link is external).

Key elements of this project include widening the bridge to accommodate the addition of a future 12-foot-wide auxiliary lane on the northbound and southbound sides of I-17 and increasing the vertical clearance over Central Avenue to 16 feet. This will enable high-profile vehicles and Valley Metro light rail trains to travel beneath it. Bridge removal and replacement began on southbound I-17 to reconstruct the south half of the bridge. The southbound side was completed in February 2021 and work has shifted to northbound I-17 to complete the north bridge.


The Arizona Department of Transportation, in association with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), and in coordination with the city of Phoenix and Valley Metro, is replacing the Interstate 17 bridge over Central Avenue located south of downtown Phoenix. The bridge was identified for replacement in the MAG Interstate 10/Interstate 17 Corridor Master Plan (also known as the “Spine Study”) to support the future widening of I-17 in Maricopa County.