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Wood River Bridge to open this fall

2014_wood_river_bridge_groundbreaking.jpg
Alaska DOT
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The DOT says the 440-foot bridge connecting the north and south sides of Aleknagik will be traversable by fall.

If all goes according to plan, state and city officials will cut the ribbon on the long awaited bridge connecting the north and south shores of Aleknagik this fall.

Anne Brooks, public involvement coordinator for the Wood River Bridge project, gave an update at the Department of Transportation’s open house Wednesday.

"The contractor should be back later this spring to begin putting finishing touches on the bridge with the hope of an opening in the fall. So the bridge will be fully traversable later this year."

The 440-foot, three-span bridge will have a 38 foot clearance above mean water level.

Kay Andrews, city administrator for the City of Aleknagik, says the bridge’s opening will bring a new cohesiveness to the community.   

"This is going to be an opportunity for economic growth and increased population. We've already seen that growth in our community and we're excited about it. There's pros and cons to it... there will be more pressure on the resources, but I think if we manage it right and plan effectively, I think we'll be able to meet the challenges that are set before us."

The City is waiting to hear from Mowat Construction on the availability of some local hire jobs this season.

Andrews says the bridge has been many years coming.

"We're looking to confirm a date to have our ribbon-cutting ceremony. So as soon as we get that date confirmed we will give notice to everyone and we'll start looking for donations to have a big bang ribbon cutting ceremony."

After the bridge is complete, the state will begin constructing two and half miles of roadway connecting both sides. That phase will go to bid this fall and construction will begin in 2016. 

Contact the author at hannah@kdlg.org