Williamsport to Pile Bay Road – Illiamna River Bridge Reopens Early
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) Despite record snowfall and challenging conditions, the Williamsport to Pile Bay Road- Illiamna River Bridge No. 2137 was repaired and opened 15 days earlier than anticipated on Saturday May 26.
The bridge is a key link for fishing boats to make their way to the lucrative Bristol Bay fishing grounds. Fishermen travel from Naknek to Homer and back using this important route. This transportation route saves fishermen time, money and provides a safer passage through protected waters. The alternative would be to take their boats around False Pass through in more turbulent water.
Every day of missed fishing opportunities means a loss of income and fisheries are Alaska’s biggest export.
Repairs to the bridge were slated to be completed by June 10. Recognizing the importance of getting the bridge repaired, the Department worked closely with the contractor and included an incentive for timely competition.
The contract was awarded to Southwest Alaska Contractors, LLC of Anchorage in the amount of $613,790. They replaced broken reinforcement chords on the bridge which had forced lower maximum load limits since October.
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.