Scenery From New Highway Is Breathtaking

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Here is an update on the Highway 260 construction between Christopher Creek and Hunter Creek.

A new, five-mile stretch of Highway 260 at Christopher Creek will be paved during July and August as scheduled and will be opened to traffic shortly after Labor Day.

The new, four-lane highway follows an alignment between the communities of Christopher Creek and Hunter Creek. I walked it recently and the scenery is downright beautiful as you come through here. You have a beautiful view of Promontory Point as you are driving.

A connection between the new highway and the existing road will be provided at the east end of Christopher Creek when traffic is moved to the new alignment in September.

However, the connection at the west end of Christopher Creek will not be completed until about Nov. 1.

About 90,000 cubic yards of dirt and rocks will have to be excavated and moved from the site before the new connecting road can be built. That work cannot start before traffic is switched to the new alignment and it will take about six to eight weeks to complete the connection.

The contractor, Kiewit Western Co., also will resurface the existing road through Christopher Creek this month. Kiewit estimates that it will take about one week to accomplish the resurfacing.

Everything possible will be done to avoid impacts on the community, Kiewit said. This is a major concern for the business community. Locals and visitors alike will always be able to get to the businesses of Christopher Creek, according the Kiewit

The old road will be turned over to Gila County when the project is completed.

The $32.5 million project began in November 2001.

In addition to the new, four-lane highway, around Christopher Creek, 13 new bridges have been built, including major structures at Christopher Creek, Hunter Creek and Sharp Creek, and smaller bridges for wildlife and pedestrian crossings.

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