News Release

Commissioners Approve Emergency Reconstruction of Collapsed Railroad Bridge in Tempe

For Immediate Release | 08-12-20

Media Contact | Nicole Capone

Direct |602-542-0713

E-Mail |


Phoenix — The Arizona Corporation Commission approved the emergency application of Union Pacific Railroad Company (Union Pacific) to reconstruct a railroad bridge in Tempe, Arizona today. On July 29, 2020, a Union Pacific train derailed and a portion of the railroad bridge over Rio Salado Parkway collapsed. The event is still under investigation.


On August 4, 2020, Union Pacific filed an emergency application for approval with the Arizona Corporation Commission to reconstruct an existing grade-separated crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad at Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.


This proposed project will reconstruct the bridge that supports the railroad tracks over the road. Once the overpass is complete, the roadway will also be reconstructed and placed back in service. Union Pacific is working with the City of Tempe on any necessary roadway design modifications for Rio Salado Parkway.


Union Pacific will bear the entire cost of the bridge construction as well as the rebuilding of the roadway as detailed in its emergency application.


Arizona Public Service Company (APS) has high-voltage facilities in the area of the damaged bridge. APS worked with Union Pacific to find a mutually acceptable path forward that ensured the continuance of safe, reliable electric service to Arizona customers, consistent with APS's legal rights. APS had requested that Union Pacific’s team allow APS enough time to perform additional expedited analyses before the project proceeded further.


Since filing its emergency application on August 4, 2020, Union Pacific has amended the initial application stating that they would no longer be placing an H-piling in the Rio Salado Parkway median, which is near APS’s facilities. Instead, they will be installing a prefabricated 133-foot bridge span that will cross all of Rio Salado Parkway, alleviating the need for the H-piling in the median. This change alleviated the safety concerns of APS and the Corporation Commission, providing for a safer reconstruction alternative.


Reconstruction of the grade separation at this location is in the public's interest, is reasonable and consistent with other similar crossings in the state and will provide for the public's safety.



About us:
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government.The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit

Arizona Corporation Commission

1200 W. Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Corporations Division

1300 W. Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Tucson Office (Walk-ins only)

400 W. Congress Street

Tucson, AZ 85701