(JUNEAU, Alaska) – State and city dignitaries joined residents of Ketchikan's Water Street today to celebrate completion of the street's reconstruction. The trestle reconstruction was a technically challenging project perched on a steep cliff in a historical district and a dense, actively-used and space-constrained residential area.
City of Ketchikan Mayor Bob Sivertsen and Public Works Director Mark Hilson, Alaska State Senator Bert Stedman and Alaska State Representative Dan Ortiz joined the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner (DOT&PF) John MacKinnon in the ceremony today. DOT&PF design and construction partners HDR, R&M Ketchikan, R&M Consultants, and Dawson Construction also joined the celebration.
Today's event began with Ketchikan's Boy Scout Troop #4 performing the color guard. State and local officials remarked on the partnerships required for successful project completion and the complexity of the project. After local youth cut a ribbon to ceremonially open the street to traffic, the City of Ketchikan's Fire Department drove a truck across the trestle.
The bridge has been a high priority for reconstruction for many years. The old Water Street Trestle #2 was built in 1979 and was nearing the end of its useful lifespan. The trestle was not rated for heavy loads like a fire engine and the guardrail was aged.
Work performed included the removal of the old timber and concrete trestle structures and replacement with a new 700-ft long, pile supported steel and concrete trestle structure and a new 75-foot long concrete girder bridge structure. The project also built reinforced concrete retaining walls and curb and gutter. Concrete sidewalks were built to meet Americans with Disabilities Act specifications, and the new sidewalks replaced ones studded with utility poles. All utilities and sewage and storm drain systems were replaced. New electrical lines were run to homes, and they were buried to match the historical nature of the neighborhood. The guardrail is designed to take heavy loads and is clad in wood to match the historical nature of the neighborhood.
The $25 million project was completed in just under three years, in June 2019, by Dawson Construction.
Project photos and construction time-lapse videos are available at www.flickr.com/photos/akdotpf/albums.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 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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