Eyman Unit

The Department of Corrections’ Eyman Complex is located in Florence.

FLORENCE — The town will receive $1 million from the state to replace the bridge over a canal on East Butte Avenue.

The bridge, on the way to Arizona State Prison-Eyman Complex, has been in failing condition for years. The town’s firetruck exceeds the weight limit seven times over, according to a town staff report. Emergency vehicles and other large vehicles must make a 5.2-mile detour in each direction.

Town staff approached local legislators about this problem, and thanks to their efforts, $1 million was ultimately included in the state budget. The Town Council Monday approved an agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation to receive the funds.

Bids to replace the bridge in 2018 came in around $800,000, Ben Bitter, assistant to the town manager, told the council. Costs have risen since then, and if more money is needed, the town would have to cover these out of its fund balances or seek further allocations from the state, according to the staff report.

The town needs to have the new bridge designed, and isn’t ready to build anytime soon, Bitter said.

In other action Monday, the council:

  • Approved an agreement with Pinal County for a sidewalk improvement project with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The work will include removing and replacing curb ramps and sidewalk along Ruggles Street between North Quartz and North Pinal streets; North Pinal Street between Ruggles and 8th streets; North Bailey Street between Ruggles and 8th streets; and 8th Street between Main and Bailey streets. The project will remove architectural barriers that limit the accessibility of sidewalks and ramps.
  • Approved an agreement with Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens, doing business as Meals on Wheels of Central Arizona, to provide senior nutrition to elderly Florence residents. The only modification to the new agreement is that Pinal-Gila Council is now providing all weekly meals at no cost to the town.
  • Ratified a vehicle lease agreement with Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens for a 2011 Ford bus for senior transportation.
  • Proclaimed September as Deaf Awareness Month.

Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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