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AK’s largest bridge to be built in 2020

KENAI (AP) — The Department of Transportation plans to begin a project in 2020 to reroute the Sterling Highway and construct what would be Alaska's largest bridge, officials said.

The Sterling Highway MP 45-60 Project will include installation of the bridge running across Juneau Creek Canyon and a new pullout for traffic east of Juneau Creek, The Peninsula Clarion reported .

The main priorities are to have meaningful construction completed by the end of 2020 and to open the road to traffic by 2025, according to project managers.

Transportation department officials and representatives of engineering firm HDR Alaska spoke with Cooper Landing residents to discuss details of the plan, which is also known as the Cooper Landing Bypass Project and the Juneau Creek Alternative.

The route north of Cooper Landing was one of four possibilities discussed in an Environmental Impact Statement for the plan, officials said.

Design of the west end is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020, while design for the east end has a projected completion date of spring 2021, officials said.

A preliminary analysis of the project estimated the total cost of the project to be about $375 million. That includes about $111 for construction of the Juneau Creek Canyon bridge and about $96 million for phase 1 construction, said Sean Holland, a transportation department project manager.

The project's funding will include 90% federal money and 10% from the State Transportation Improvement Plan. The project currently has about $21 million on hand and is expected to receive about $60 million annually until 2025, Holland said.