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Borough supports Kasilof River bridge study

Courtesy Photo
U.S. Geological Survey

A highly trafficked bridge in Kasilof could be getting an upgrade. The Alaska Department of Transportation plans to study whether the Kasilof River bridge needs major improvements, and now has support from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to do so.

According to the resolution passed by the borough assembly earlier this month, the Kasilof River bridge on the Sterling Highway is 50 years old and no longer meets DOT’s standards for bridges. The bridge is busy, due to its location near the popular intersection of Kalifornsky Beach Road and the Sterling Highway, and has long, steep hills on either side, according to the resolution.

Other issues include nearby gas stations, churches and recreation areas that generate lots of traffic, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game sonar counters located next to the bridge that may be distracting to drivers.

According to the U.S. National Bridge Inventory, the Kasilof River bridge has more than 6,000 average daily crossings.

DOT’s engineering study will determine if it will be necessary to upgrade or replace the bridge entirely.

Riley Board is a Report For America reporter covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL.
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