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Arizona Corporation Commission Approves Tempe Railroad Bridge

The Arizona Corporation Commission has given the green light for reconstruction of a railroad bridge in Tempe.

The bridge should be completed within a week.

Union Pacific also will foot the bill for repairs to Rio Salado Parkway, which was damaged when a train derailed in late July.

Those repairs should be complete in two to three weeks. Commissioner Sandra Kennedy urged Union Pacific to make sure the new bridge is up to par.

"There’s really no real oversight, because when you think about the rail industry, the rail industry controls their own oversight, and their own rules.

So we here at the commission want to make sure that the safety of Arizona residents comes first."

Union Pacific attorney Reed Campbell said that the new bridge would meet both industry and federal standards.

"These bridges are inspected to an industry standard that’s set out by the Federal Railroad Administration," Campbell said. "So these aren’t just Union Pacific’s internal standards, but also an industry standard that’s adopted throughout the nation."

All five commissioners voted in favor of the project.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.