SRP has been relieving dams filled by recent rains, and the resulting flooding is wreaking havoc on Valley roads.
There were road restrictions on Thursday along the Salt River to include Gilbert Road, McKellips, 67th Avenue, and 91st Avenue.
A spokesman for Maricopa County Department of Transportation, Ron Coleman, says the agency was aware SRP would be releasing the water from Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes, and damage to one of the roadways was “not a surprise.”
MCDOT crews are monitoring Gilbert Road after the rushing flood water cut through the asphalt. Crews have not been able to assess the damage because of the flooding, so they do not have a repair plan or an estimate for the cost of repairs.
The northbound lanes are closed due to the damage so MCDOT split the southbound lanes to accommodate traffic in both directions.
MCDOT says they had to close Gilbert Road already this year because of flooding, but that instance only required crews to clean debris before the road could reopen. The last time a flood incident damaged the roadway, according to a MCDOT spokesman, was in 2010 and repairs cost about $2.8 million.
According to SRP, the flow of water released from the Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes decreased Thursday from its peak at 22,000 cubic feet per second to 11,000 cubic feet per second. SRP conducts water releases every year for the runoff season to make room in reservoirs for snow melt. So far this year storms have fed the reservoirs nearly to capacity, so SRP had to release more water at a faster rate.
The flow of water will be reduced over the next few days, according to SRP.
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