Closure schedule still up in the air

Bridge open? Closed?

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2006

Construction-related closures of the temporary bridge across the Kenai River scheduled for next week are now off, according to state Project Manager Matt Coullahan.

The bridge was closed Thursday night, July 20, while crews completed the removal of piles that would be in the way of new steel girders.

But those girders are awaiting completion of a paving project near Seward before they can be transported to the Soldotna project site.

On Monday, Soldotna’s business community, which depends heavily on tourist traffic, was informed that the bridge would not be blocked on Thursday, but that Sterling Highway traffic through Soldotna was to be diverted between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. July 27, 30 and on Aug. 1, 3, 6 and 8.

Now those dates are up in the air, Coullahan said.

“The earliest I can see it happening will be Aug. 1,” he said Thursday.

The exact dates for the closures needed to install the girders aren’t expected to be know and announced until sometime next week, he said.

Meanwhile, the Seward road work continues. Coullahan said he hopes that job, which is delaying transport of the girders, will be a lot further along by next week.

Closures are expected to be on a regular schedule once the girders are on site.

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