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Ducey Seeks Federal Money To Build Bridge Over Tonto Creek

Gov. Ducey is asking the federal government for money to build a bridge where four people drowned in two separate incidents late last year. The feds have denied earlier requests to build a bridge over Tonto Creek.

Three children died when the vehicle they were riding in was swept away by floodwaters in Tonto Creek in November. Six other people in the vehicle survived.

In early December, a 69-year-old man also drowned when trying to cross the floodwaters upstream. According to the Associated Press, eight people have died trying to cross the flooded creek in high water since 1995.

Now Ducey has sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking for federal funding to build the bridge.

Two bills have been introduced in the state legislature that would have the state provide full or partial funding for the bridge.

Gila County officials have said the rural county can't afford to pay the full $20 million price tag the bridge would cost.

Al Macias, former KJZZ news director, is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.