June 10, 2009

Alaska offers $50,000 to take bridge

Alaskan officials said they are willing to pay $50,000 for the removal and safe keeping of a 59-year-old Anchorage bridge.

Jim Amundsen, a project manager in highway design at the state Department of Transportation, said the cost of moving and maintaining the 100-foot-long Peters Creek bridge, which weighs about 50 tons without its asphalt deck and about 150 tons with it, will likely be far more than the state's offering, the Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday.

Rich Pratt, chief bridge engineer with the department, said the bridge, which runs over Peters Creek on the Old Glenn Highway, is considered structurally deficient due to rust eating away at the steel. He said about 20 percent of the bridges in the state fall in the same category.

Amundsen said the bridge could wind up as a pedestrian overpass or part of the public park.

It has to be agencies or groups that legitimately have the ability to take care of it and otherwise retain its cultural and historical appearance and reasonable use, he said.