Broken bridge splits Mescal community, fix slow to arrive

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A broken bridge has split the area of Mescal right outside Benson.

Residents are having a tough time getting around and it looks like they'll have to deal with the traffic troubles for quite some time.

An overpass connects the northern and southern parts of Mescal.  A recent accident closed the bridge, separating the primarily residential side from the business side.

The quick pic just north of the highway has been the site of some grumbling.

"It costs me like ten more miles to come up that way and come back," said a customer.  "When you've been in New Mexico for four days and you just want to get home to Arizona it's really quite a problem."

ADOT spokesperson, Linda Ritter, says the Mescal bridge is so bad it must be demolished.

"There has been some extensive damage done to the piers and to the girders and so we find that the bridge, the overpass is dangerous for drivers," said Ritter.

Ritter says ADOT will not close the I-10, but the bridge may be out of commission for a while.

"It could be this summer possibly that we could go to construction, and that would mean that the bridge would be in operation possibly late this year," said Ritter.

Mescal residents say they have a hard enough time getting to the convenience store, let alone going further to Benson.

Quick pic employees say sales are down.  One rancher says the cumbersome commute is hurting his bottom line.

Some residents are considering moving to Benson, but most will simply have to wait for another overpass.

ADOT says replacing the bridge is a priority.  Many of the Mescal residents, however, have doubts about the time line.