Bridge over Noyes Slough on Aurora Drive to close starting March 27

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:04 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The bridge across the Noyes Slough on Aurora Drive is scheduled to be replaced.

Starting Monday, March 27, the bridge will be closed as the demolition process begins.

Both vehicle and pedestrian traffic is advised to redirect to Danby Street to reach College Road or the Johansen Expressway. The project has been contracted to H.C. Contractors and is budgeted to cost just under 6.5 million dollars.

While the bridge work continues, traffic will also be stopped or slowed on the slough itself, meaning snow machine and ski traffic in the winter, and canoe traffic during the summer.

According to John Perreault, Information Officer with the Department of Transportation (DOT) Northern Region, “The key safety component for most users is going to be the overpass. The bridge will actually have less of a curve and be a little flatter, and so sight distances across the bridge, particularly for people entering from Willow and Cottonwood on the north end and Bridgewater on the south end, it’s going to be safer.”

Construction may occasionally affect nearby side streets, but Perreault said closures are expected to be minimal.

The MACS Transit System and district school buses will also be impacted, and DOT is working with both entities to develop alternate routes.

After construction, the slough is expected to flow better. The replacement bridge will have wider sidewalks and shoulders. Utilities running under the bridge will be replaced as well.

“The bridge was also built in the ‘60′s, and so things like seismic specifications and the ability to go as a single span across the bridge, and not have a center pier which impedes the flow of the slough below and adds to erosion, both of those are things that have been approved, and so you’re going to be able to see a safer bridge in better condition and with better flow underneath that will also extend the life of the bridge,” said Perreault.

The bridge closes at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 27 and will remain closed through construction season into the fall.

DOT is holding an open house session at Randy Smith Middle School where residents can learn more about the project.

That event takes place Wednesday, March 22 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.