Amalga Harbor Road will be closed tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday while crews from the Alaska Department of Transportation install two prefabricated bridges over sections of Peterson Creek.
DOT Spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the work is ahead of schedule, so the closure has been moved up from the previously announced date of next Monday.
“Work went smoother than anticipated,” Woodrow said. “Sometimes that happens, and it’s always good thing. The less inconvenience we can cause to travelers the better.”
Woodrow says the current bridge sections of Amalga Harbor Road are safe for regular traffic, but no longer meet the load requirements of DOT’s winter maintenance heavy vehicle fleet.
The plan is to build permanent spans next year. In the meantime DOT will install two 40-foot by 18-foot modular steel bridges built by Acrow Corporation of New Jersey.
Instead of hiring a contractor, Woodrow says the work will be done by DOT employees. He says the department wants to be prepared in case it needs to use Acrow bridges in the future, for example during an emergency.
“In case we ever did have, say, major flooding or some sort of natural cause incident where a bridge had to be replaced, this is an exercise for the department to learn how to install these bridges in a certain time frame,” said Woodrow.
Woodrow says the two prefab bridges cost a combined $290,000 dollars. Once they’re replaced by permanent spans, the modular units can be put into storage and reused.
The Amalga Harbor Road closure will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Woodrow says drivers could experience delays through next Tuesday as work continues in the area.