(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) –State dignitaries cut the ribbon on the new Aleknagik Wood River Bridge this week, officially opening the structure to traffic. The bridge connects Aleknagik to the greater Dillingham area, increasing transportation safety in the community and linking residents to schools, businesses and the airport.
City of Aleknagik Mayor Jane Gottschalk, Alaska State Senator Lyman Hoffman and Alaska State Representative Bryce Edgmon joined the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner (DOT&PF) Marc Luiken in the ceremony earlier this week. “The Aleknagik community divided by a river is finally connected!” said Jim Amundsen, DOT&PF highway design chief.
The bridge has been a high priority of the Village of Aleknagik for many years. The community, located on both sides of the Aleknagik Lake, had to rely on boats and snow machines to travel within the area. Poor weather could make the trip treacherous, and fatalities have resulted from capsizing boats and breaking ice.
The project includes a 2.5 mile approach road from the Dillingham Aleknagik Road to Peter Krause Sr. Drive in the Village of Aleknagik. The roadway has two 10 foot lanes with five foot shoulders. The two-lane bridge is over 400 feet long and has 40 feet of clearance above the river. Construction of the $19 million project began in 2014 and was designed by R&M and built by Mowat Construction.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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