Eklutna River Bridge to Close to Vehicular Traffic
Contact: Teri Albrecht, Public Works
The Municipality of Anchorage announced that due to safety concerns, the Eklutna River Bridge will be closed to ALL traffic as of May 15, 2012. After certain modifications and safety corrections are made, the bridge will re-open for PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE TRAFFIC ONLY, estimated to be early-June.
The deteriorating condition of the Eklutna River Bridge has been a source of concern for many years. A 2010 bridge inspection by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) has shown progressive and significant weakening. Several structural members and gusset plates have rusted to the extent that they are essentially non-existent. Some welded connections were found to have cracks. Rust on many steel members has reduced the effective thickness of the steel thereby causing a reduction in strength. Due to the seriousness of this inspection report and the quickening of the bridge's deterioration, the city's Municipal Manager held a public meeting on February 23, 2012 to notify the community of the situation and give citizens a chance to voice their opinions and concerns. The consensus of the residents in attendance was that the bridge should be closed to vehicular traffic and only be available for bicycles and pedestrians.
The Municipality of Anchorage's Public Works Department, Traffic Division will work closely with the ADOT&PF to avoid conflicting traffic routing and detours during any upcoming construction projects. The Chugiak/Birchwood/Eagle River Rural Road Service Area (CBERRRSA) is drafting a plan for additional vehicle parking on the north side of the bridge for when it re-opens to pedestrians and bicycles.
When we receive funding, we will begin design and construction for a replacement bridge.