Due to concrete deterioration found during ongoing inspection work on the Drinkwater Bridge and Underpass, the underpass and the pedestrian overpass in the middle of the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall are closed to all activity. However, a temporary pedestrian overpass has been constructed on the south side of the overpass and it can be used to move between the west and east sides of the Civic Center Mall.

Please use caution when traveling in the area and adhere to all barricades and restrictions. The length and extent of the closure are still unknown.


The Drinkwater Bridge was built in the mid-1980s, creating the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall area that now includes Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale City Hall and Scottsdale Civic Center Library. The structure itself supports open space, public artworks and fountains that were installed as part of the bridge project.

In early 2014, the city located several areas of the bridge structure that were failing due to water intrusion through the deck. On June 12, 2018, the City Council authorized funding for repair work and hired Haydon Building Corp. to determine the extent of the immediate repairs necessary.

During Haydon’s investigation, large areas of loose concrete were discovered along the west side retaining wall, in addition to deterioration of the concrete columns within the center of the structure. The two columns were deemed too unstable for any further investigation and an emergency closure began on July 26, 2018, prohibiting all vehicle access through the underpass and all pedestrian access over the top of the structure.

On Oct. 13, the temporary pedestrian bridge was opened to reconnect the west and east sides of the Civic Center Mall during the ongoing construction.

When will the area reopen?

We don’t know. City officials are working to determine the length and extent of the closure.

When will be able to get to the LOVE sculpture and other public art pieces on the overpass?

Although the LOVE sculpture was formerly located within the closure, it was moved on Oct. 12 to a new location about 130 feet to the east. The sculpture is now closer to Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

How will this closure affect events scheduled at the mall in the coming months?

Scottsdale Arts, the city and event producers are determining the best course of action on a case-by-case basis. Some events will continue, while others may move to different locations. For questions about specific events scheduled for the Civic Center Mall, contact Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts at or 480-499-8587.

Are all of the businesses in the area open?

Yes, all of the buildings on or around the Civic Center area are open and accessible. Parking structures are located on both sides of Drinkwater Boulevard. See the closure map to determine the best place to park. The parking structure at Wells Fargo Avenue and First Street is still the closest parking for Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as events on the west side of the Civic Center Mall (Park). A structure at Drinkwater Boulevard and Second Street provides access to the Civic Center Library and City Hall, as well as events on the east side of Civic Center Mall (Park). With the new temporary pedestrian overpass, it is now possible to park on the east side and walk to events on the west side and vice versa.

Is it possible to walk from one side of the Civic Center Mall to the other side?

Yes. Pedestrians may use the new temporary bridge at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall to move between both sides of the mall.

Why are plants in the Civic Center area dying or being removed?

One of the major causes of the concrete deterioration was water. The city can no longer water the plants that are on the compromised bridge deck.