PHOENIX — A U.S. Highway 191 bridge about 7 miles north of the entrance to the Morenci mine will close at noon Thursday, Feb. 28, for urgently needed repairs to a bridge abutment.

U.S. Highway 191 will remain open except for the area around the bridge, which is located north of Morenci, near milepost 177. There is no estimated time for the bridge to reopen.

Drivers traveling between Morenci and Alpine will need to take U.S. Highway 191 south from Morenci to Three Way, follow State Route 78 east into New Mexico to U.S. Highway 180, and follow U.S. Highway 180 north to Alpine.

The bridge was built by Freeport-McMoRan, which operates the mine. The engineer who designed the bridge inspected it recently and recommended that it be closed for repairs to address deterioration to the abutment that has occurred over time.

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