Eklutna Bridge Project steps forward

Designs submitted to Planning & Zoning Commission


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The Eklutna Bridge has been closed since May 2012. New bridge construction is slated to begin in 2015.

STAR FILE PHOTO

The updated design study report on the new Eklutna Bridge was recently released, according to the Eklutna Bridge Replacement Project.

The new designs, termed the pre-final design, were tweaked based on community and agency feedback of design drafts showcased at the December Eklutna Bridge Project meeting at Chugiak High School.

Current project objectives involve removing and replacing the existing 78-year-old bridge with a new 254-foot long bridge.

The new bridge designs separate vehicles/roadway from pedestrian and bicycle traffic for added safety elements.

The project also includes upgraded access to the Chugach State Park Thunderbird Falls day-use parking lot.

According to the project report, four bridge structure types were considered: two-span bulb-tee girders, single-span cast-in place box girder, single-span steel plate girder and open spandrel steel arch.

Structure types were then analyzed for cost, impact, timeframe, constructability and long-term maintenance cost.

The two-span bulb-tee girder bridge was chosen as the preferred alternative, along with the separated multi-use pathway, to ensure pedestrian safety.

The two-span bulk-tee girder was the least expensive of the choices and carries the extra pluses of quick construction timetable and low maintenance requirements.

The designs have been submitted to the Anchorage Planning & Zoning Commission for a non-public hearing review on March 3.

Estimated project cost is $13,072,000.

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