Million Dollar bridge may be repaired

Posted: Monday, October 09, 2000

CORDOVA (AP) -- The state Transportation Depart-ment is looking at making repairs to the Million Dollar Bridge, which spans the Copper River near Cordova.

Construction of the bridge was completed in 1910 as part of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. The bridge was badly damaged in the 1964 earthquake.

Martin Ott, the Transportation Department's planning chief, told the Cordova Times engineers are looking at raising a fallen span and reinforcing the bridge. The state has hired a consulting firm to evaluate the bridge and identify any options for repair.

''We've started the design phase to raise the span,'' Ott said. A crew will be taking soil samples near the bridge pilings later this month.

Ott says it would cost about $10 million to repair the bridge. The state plans to apply for federal funds to make the repairs.

Transportation officials said competition for money from the Federal Bridge Discretionary Fund is tough and the repairs won't be made unless the money comes through.

The Transportation Department has plans for a network of trails beyond the bridge, possibly all the way to Chitina, said Dennis Poshard, a special assistant to the commissioner of transportation. BC-AK--

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