Drinkwater Bridge and Underpass Repair Work

Due to concrete deterioration found during ongoing inspection work on the Drinkwater Bridge and Underpass, the underpass is now closed. Additionally, access over the top of the overpass, which is on Civic Center Mall, will be closed to all activity. Please use caution when traveling in the area and adhere to all barricades and restrictions. All restrictions will remain in place until the structure can be reinforced. We are working to determine the length and extent of the closure and will let you know more information as it becomes available.


The Drinkwater Bridge was constructed in the mid-1980’s creating the Civic Center Mall area which has evolved as the City’s civic and arts headquarters. The structure supports open space including grass and trees, the LOVE statue and the fountains which were installed as part of the bridge project.

In early 2014 staff was notified that there were sections of failing concrete located under the structure and as a result contracted with Caruso Turley Scott (CTS) to investigate the cause of the failing concrete. The findings revealed several areas of the structure that are failing due to water intrusion through the deck, due to leaking within the fountain structure, irrigation of landscaping and an insufficient drainage system, and waterproofing membrane that has exceeded its service life.

On June 12, 2018, the City Council authorized funding for repair work and hired Haydon Building Corporation to begin an investigative effort to determine the extent of the immediate repairs necessary. During the investigation, large areas of loose concrete were discovered along the west side retaining wall, in addition to the deterioration of the concrete columns within the center of the structure. Haydon Building Corporation was authorized by staff to remove all loose concrete on the retaining wall and columns, however, during their work, the two columns were deemed too unstable for any further investigative effort.

Construction repairs for the Drinkwater Bridge are scheduled to occur in phases with Phase I include securing the structure to repair existing damage and prevent future damage. The second phase of improvements will design and construct a waterproofing and drainage system for the bridge that will support the future Civic Center improvements identified in the recently approved master plan update.

Why are the bridge and pedestrian overpass closed?

There is a great deal of concrete deterioration on the overpass that has made the structure unsafe. Crews were working to repair the failing concrete when they discovered the problems were more extensive than expected causing the emergency closure.

When will the area reopen?

We don’t have an exact answer yet. We are working to determine the length and extent of the closure, but do know that Drinkwater Blvd. and the overpass on Civic Center will be closed to all activity thru at least November, possibly longer.

Are all of the businesses in the area open?

Yes, all of the buildings on or around Civic Center area are open for business. There are parking garages on both sides of Drinkwater Blvd. See the closure map to determine the best route.

How will this closure affect events scheduled at the mall in the coming months?

Scottsdale Arts, the City and event produces are working to determine the best course of action on a case by case basis. For questions about Civic Center events contact Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts at Info@ScottsdaleArts.org or 480-499-8587.

When will we be able to get to the LOVE sculpture and other public art pieces on the overpass?

Scottsdale Arts and the City are working together find a new home in the Civic Center area for public art pieces currently on the overpass, including the LOVE sculpture. They cannot be moved until the overpass is reinforced, but as soon as we have a timeline for their relocation we will share it.

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