Pedestrian bridge installed over the Chena River as University Ave. project continues

Two cranes work in tandem to install a section of a temporary pedestrian bridge over the Chena...
Two cranes work in tandem to install a section of a temporary pedestrian bridge over the Chena River as work continues on the University Ave. Bridge replacement.(John Dougherty/KTVF)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 4:55 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Crews working to replace the University Avenue Bridge over the Chena River in Fairbanks have installed a temporary pedestrian bridge. Using two cranes, the construction workers hoisted the metal structure off of the old bridge and placed it on pilings in the river.

Crews had spent the last couple of months assembling the bridge in three parts and driving pile into the river before they were able to assemble it.

“Today, two cranes are going to lift up the bridge in two different points and place it on top of some pilings that have been driving into the river,” said Caitlin Frye, the Northern Region Information Officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT).

These pieces will make up the completed bridge, giving people a way to walk and bike across the river after the old bridge is taken down and while the new bridge is being built.

Crews also built a temporary work bridge that is nearly completed. Frye said that this needed to be done before they were able to begin work on demolishing the old bridge.

With both temporary bridges nearly completed, Frye expects that DOT will begin demolition within a few weeks, adding, “Bridge demolition is going to also take a few weeks and we expect that will be done by the end of December or beginning of January.”

After they finish taking apart the old bridge, DOT will begin work on driving the piles for the new bridge. That should take most of the rest of winter, just in time for work on the new bridge to begin in spring.

The pedestrian bridge is set to be completed by Tuesday. It will then be inspected and is scheduled to open sometime early next week. Once the pedestrian bridge is opened, cyclists and pedestrians will no longer be allowed to cross the old University Ave. Bridge.

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