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Federal money is headed to Santa Cruz County for a long-awaited bridge replacement project

Federal money is on the way to southern Arizona for a big infrastructure project in the state’s smallest county. 

Santa Cruz County is getting more than $6.5 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as part of the Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities grant. That’s a pilot program focused on communities previously cut off from economic opportunities due to other transportation projects, like freeways. .

Southern Arizona Democrat Raúl Grijalva says the funding announced this week will go toward a project to replace Ruby Road Bridge. It’s a 40-year-old bridge that county officials say is dilapidated and overused, but sorely needed as the only passable route in the event of flooding or railroad emergencies. 

The long-awaited project is expected to cost around $15 million and will use a combination of state, federal and county money.

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.