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Historic WWII-Era Bridge to be Replaced

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

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The last remaining through-truss bridge between the Canadian border and Anchorage, Alaska, dating back to sometime between 1943 and 1944, is currently being demolished. Construction of the new span commenced in June.

The historic World War II-era structure, which crosses the Tok River at Milepost 1309, has been replaced with a temporary detour bridge, which will remain in place until work on the new project is complete.

Historic Alaskan Bridge

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesperson Danielle Tessen noted that the bridge had exceeded its 50-year lifespan, and the cost of inspection and maintenance would exceed the cost of a new bridge. The current price tag for the new bridge, which will have a 75-year lifespan, stands at $9.9 million. HC Contractors was awarded the contract for the work.

The new bridge will be built in the same location as the old, both reducing construction delays and keeping the road straight. Foundation, piling and abutment work are still required. The new bridge will also be 360 feet long and 43 feet wide, measuring larger than the old span’s 250 feet in length and 30-foot width. The new bridge will also not have height restrictions for oversized loads; previously, the trusses limited clearance to 15 feet, 8 inches.

Paint on the old bridge contains lead, so structure scraps will have to be sent to the lower 48 states for abatement, as the state of Alaska does not have the facility needed to take care of the abatement, according to Tessen.

Demolition began Oct. 26, and work on the new bridge is slated for completion by October of next year. According to the State of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, the project is currently in winter shutdown and work will resume in spring 2019. Additional updates about the bridge design will be added as the story unfolds.

Editor's Note: Corrected date.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

Comment from William Cornelius, (11/6/2018, 7:51 AM)

The linked news article says "built between 1943 and 1944." 1933 - 1944 seems like a long time. :)

Comment from Laura Kemmerer, (11/6/2018, 8:39 AM)

The issue has been corrected. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Thank you for reading!

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