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Tanana River Bridge construction Phase One Ground-Breaking


ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Phase One of the Northern Rail Extension (NRE) project is just underway with construction beginning on a bridge over the Tanana River at Salcha. A project ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at the construction staging area. 

The ground-breaking ceremony will feature members of Alaska's congressional delegation, governor's office, local community dignitaries and railroad executives.  The event will celebrate the start of the long-anticipated rail extension, which is expected to boost local and state economies with millions of dollars spent on local equipment, materials, supplies and lodging.  More than 200 construction jobs are projected during the summer months and about two dozen year-round.  

Media interested in attending the September 28 Ground-breaking Ceremony are asked to park at the Salcha Fairgrounds, where shuttle transportation will be provided to the construction staging area.  Shuttle transportation will be provided between 1:15 and 1:45 p.m. and immediately following the ground-breaking activities. Roads leading to the construction staging area are rough and narrow and unnecessary traffic is discouraged. Also, very little space is available for vehicles to park at the construction site. After the ground-breaking media will have an opportunity to talk to project team members, Alaska Railroad executives and dignitaries who wish to comment.

The multi-phased Northern Rail Extension (NRE) project will eventually expand railroad track infrastructure from North Pole / Eielson 80 miles southeast to Delta Junction.  Expected to be a three-year effort, NRE Phase One will construct a new bridge across the river and an associated levee.  The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was completed in 2010.

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