- Associated Press - Friday, February 16, 2018

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Department of Transportation said it has plans in spring 2019 to stop the Near Island Bridge from rusting away.

The state department revealed its plan Tuesday, saying repairs are necessary to reduce current maintenance efforts and preserve the service life of the bridge, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported .

The project would patch spalls on the bridge’s concrete surface, sandblast and repaint the bridge’s metal superstructure, fix deteriorated portions of the sidewalk and smooth the pedestrian approaches to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other planned repairs include resurfacing the approach roadway slopes, repairing seismic waterproofing seals, repairing minor bridge rail cracking and adding drainage features.

Department chief bridge engineer Richard Pratt said the project that would cost more than $1 million would be funded by the federal Department of Transportation and some state funds.

Borough engineering director Bob Tucker said the borough would welcome rehabilitation of the bridge.

“Obviously, it needs work,” Tucker said. “Bridges all over the U.S. have issues, and I don’t want ours to end up like some of the ones I’ve seen.”

Near Island Bridge, or the Kodiak Harbor Channel Bridge, was built in 1989 to connect Kodiak Island to Near Island, which is within city limits. The island houses critical infrastructure including St. Herman Harbor and a float plane landing site, as well as the offices of Koniag and Afognak Native corporations, Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices and the $20 million Kodiak Fisheries Research Center.

Pratt called it a “preventative maintenance and preservation” project.

“We spent a lot of money 30 years ago,” he said, “so we’re just protecting the state’s investment.”


Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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