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DOT&PF Demolishes the old Tanana River Bridge

Design on the new bridge allows for larger loads to travel Alaska by truck.

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) - On Tuesday, March 1, at 5:00 p.m., the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and contractor Alaska Interstate Construction (AIC) used explosives to demolish the old Tanana River Bridge, located at milepost 1,303 of the Alaska Highway.  Traffic was diverted to the new Tanana River Bridge last fall and removing the old bridge is one of the final steps before this project is completed.

Built in 1943 during the construction of the Alaska Highway by the U.S. Military, the old Tanana River Bridge was a 946-foot long truss bridge.  It was one of only five truss bridges built in Alaska during World War II that remained in use.  Replacing the Tanana River Bridge is part of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities' plan to strengthen infrastructure throughout Alaska in an effort to reduce load restrictions, allowing for more efficient transport of goods throughout Alaska.

The new 903-foot-long bridge is located 225 feet downstream from the existing bridge. The new bridge is not a truss bridge, so truck loads traveling into, or out of Alaska are not limited by height or width.  The improved structure of the new bridge can handle large weight loads and is built to current earthquake standards.  Furthermore, design of the new bridge improved the geometry of the westbound approach resulting in enhanced safety for the traveling public.

The $31 million dollar project was awarded to Alaska Interstate Construction of Anchorage. Construction began April, 2009.  This summer a boat ramp and interpretive wayside will be built and the project will be completed by September, 2011.

Video of the Tanana River Bridge demolition can be viewed here:

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/comm/pressbox/arch_2011/video/trb505demo.wmv

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/comm/pressbox/arch_2011/video/trb505demo-east.wmv

Photos of the Tanana River Bridge demolition can be viewed here:

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/comm/pressbox/arch_2011/PR11-2512.shtml

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