Defense spending bill includes money for bridge study

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Defense Department spending bill includes $1.5 million for a study on building a bridge over the Tanana River, according to Sen. Ted Stevens' office.

For years the Army has built an ice bridge over the Tanana south of Fairbanks so it can move heavy equipment to the military training area in the flatlands.

The money for the bridge study is in a bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week.

Stevens' office this week released some details of Alaska items in the bill. Alaska items added by the committee total $274 million, Stevens, R-Alaska, said.

The bill still must be approved by the full Senate and merged with the House version in conference committee negotiations.

The bridge isn't the only Alaska Army project included in the bill. It also would provide $4.5 million for repairs to a building at Fort Wainwright; $2 million for improvements to the Yukon Training Area roads and infrastructure; and $7.5 million for range improvements at Fort Wainwright, the Donnelly training area and Fort Richardson near Anchorage.

Several Air Force projects in Alaska that add up to $39 million also are included in the bill.

The Air Force projects are mostly training range upgrades that would likely benefit training missions out of both Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks and Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Stevens' staff said.

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