Alaska opens new Aleknagik Wood River Bridge
The bridge increases transportation safety by connecting Dillingham to Aleknagik and helping link local residents to businesses, schools and the airport.
For several years, the bridge was the top priority for Aleknagik, a small village near the larger area of Dillingham. The local community is spread along both sides of Aleknagik Lake. Residents had to use snow machines and boats to commute. Adverse weather made travel dangerous, and there have been deaths because of breaking ice and capsizing boats.
The new 2.5-mile-long roadway is paved with 5-foot shoulders and two 10-foot lanes. The bridge is more than 400 feet long with a 40-foot clearance between the water and the bridge. Crews began to build the bridge in spring 2014 for $19 million.
Alaska state Sen. Lyman Hoffman, Aleknagik Mayor Jane Gottschalk, Alaska state Rep. Bryce Edgmon and Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner (DOT&PF) Marc Luiken were among the officials at the opening ceremony.
“The Aleknagik community divided by a river is finally connected,” DOT&PF Highway Design Chief Jim Amundsen said.