Wendell Street Bridge remains closed due to supply delays

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:54 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Expected to reopen for vehicle traffic on October 1st, the Wendell Street Bridge near downtown Fairbanks remains closed.

Caitlin Frye, Northern Region Information Officer with the Alaska Department of Transportation said, “We know that this is really frustrating, and that this bridge closure has had a really big impact on everybody on that side of town.”

The bridge first closed in summer of 2020. At this time, the bridge is currently open only for pedestrian traffic. “Only one sidewalk is open, so just on one side of the bridge, but it is open so you don’t have to take that long detour anymore if you’re walking,” Frye said.

According to Frye the delay is being caused by a supply shortage for construction at a nearby intersection. “There is a signal pole at the intersection of 3rd Street, Minnie and the Old Steese Highway that has been delayed,” she said, adding, “The latest estimate that we’ve got is that it’s going to arrive at the end of November.”

She explained that this intersection sees a lot of traffic. It is currently regulated with a four-way stop, and if the bridge is opened without a signal pole, “the traffic would really back up. It could potentially back up on Third Street, and there’s not too much space there for traffic to sit before it runs into the Steese Highway.”

Frye assures the community that the bridge will not be closed through the next winter. “We’re working on the plans right now, and we will get that system up as soon as we can and open that bridge to vehicle traffic as soon as we possibly can.”

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