RESOLUTION NO. 2024 – 13, a resolution denying the Alaska DOT&PF’s request for local planning authority approval of the Chena Flood Control Bridge Replacement Project (HP2024-003) will be on the agenda at the April 25th Borough Assembly Meeting. On March 26th, the Borough Planning Commission denied DOT’s request to replace the two Chena Flood Control Bridges with a single bridge costing approximately $80 million dollars.

DOT claims that both of the bridges need to be replaced immediately due to their age and seismic deficiencies. This is a red herring.

  • Neither of these bridges had been earmarked for replacement until the Kinross ore haul came along.
  • The design for the new bridge has not gone through any public review or comment period.
  • The new bridge does not conform to any of the comprehensive planning documents the FNSB has spent time and money on to integrate the Fairbanks, Salcha and North Pole communities.
  • There is not adequate bicycle and pedestrian access.
  • A single bridge with Jersey barriers down the middle is not safer for the traveling public than two separate one-way bridges.
  • In the event of a damaging earthquake (which would also be damaging to other bridges on the route like the Chena River bridge on the Steese), there is a bypass already in place that could route traffic over the flood plain.

A full explanation of what transpired at the March 26 Planning Meeting, as well as the reasons why the request was denied can be found here.

ASAH encourages everyone to come out, call in, or send written comments to the Assembly letting them know you SUPPORT the Planning Commission’s decision and Resolution 2024-13. If we are going to spend $80 million on a bridge with an expected 75 year life, it should go through the standard planning process and review steps to ensure it meets a wide variety of needs.

A full transcript of ASAH’s comments to the FNSB Assembly can be found here.

The Assembly meeting begins Thursday, April 25, at 6:00pm in the Juanita Helms Administration Center, 907 Terminal Street.