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Mitchell Expressway Bridge repairs set for spring/summer 2022

Repairs to bridge being planned for 2022
Repairs to bridge being planned for 2022(Julie Swisher)
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 4:50 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Repairs on the Mitchell Expressway Bridge are on the drawing board for the Department of Transportation (DOT) after the structure was struck by an oversized load last Friday, December 10th.

Caitlin Frye, Northern Region Information Officer with DOT says right now the number one concern is safety, adding, “Our second priority is opening up traffic as much as we possibly can to keep traffic moving,”

Frye also said DOT is working very closely with their bridge design engineers to formulate a plan to ensure the safety of the public and get people back on the road.

As of Monday, traffic lanes heading towards North Pole over the Mitchell will continue to be closed. There’s also a lane closure on South Cushman underneath the bridge for northbound traffic headed toward Airport way.

“We are, right now, evaluating what a permanent traffic plan would look like,” Frye explained. “We are looking really hard to see if and how we will be able to open up the ramp on the Mitchell Expressway heading towards North Pole.”

Frye says in terms of traffic mobility, there is currently one lane open on the bridge that will get you to the Steese Expressway if you are on the Mitchell. But she adds that regardless, DOT does expect to have traffic control to be in place throughout the winter.

Frye also stated the reason why DOT has the lane closed underneath the bridge on South Cushman is in the rare event that some debris would fall onto the road, and “also primarily to be sure that it is not struck again by a different vehicle. We are just trying to protect that spot and that is why we have that lane closed underneath.”

Plans to repair the bridge are being made for Spring/Summer 2022.

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