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PAULDEN -- A two-foot-wide hole on the aging Highway 89 Hell's Canyon bridge is forcing state officials to make an emergency repair.

The Prescott Daily Courier reports Arizona Department of Transportation officials have closed down the southbound lanes of the bridge to add some steel plates.

The bridge is located 17 miles south of Ash Fork and Interstate 40.

ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel says the department will have to make further repairs within the next month and will likely replace the entire bridge in the future.

An online database says the steel bridge, built in 1954, was deemed "structurally deficient" in 2011.

A 2009 study says the bridge carries about 3,400 vehicles a day.

Associated Press,

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