State proceeding with demolitions for Knik bridge

In its first major step since taking over the Knik Arm bridge crossing project, the state transportation department has ordered the demolition of two homes properties, over the objection of community leaders.

The state purchased the two homes along with a motel to make way for the proposed span. The department plans to start taking contract bids for demolition and removal.

Residents of Anchorage’s Government Hill neighborhood oppose the demolition of the homes, but not the old motel, which the community council has deemed a potential nuisance.

Community Council President Stephanie Kesler says the homes should be used as rental properties until the project receives the federal funding it would need to go forward.

But transportation department spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy told the Alaska Dispatch News that’s not an option.