Alaska Bridges That'll Make You Do A Double Take
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Alaska bridges come in a vast variety of sizes, shapes, and forms. Alaska bridges are almost always architectural feats, but did you know we also have the longest clear span, glue laminate, timber truss bridge in North America?! From footbridges to historic railway routes, and even modern-day marvels, the bridges that can be found across Alaska are positively mesmerizing. Take a look and let us know if we left any of your favorites off the list. [caption id="attachment_18856" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Sitka Bridge by Flickr - Dave Bezaire[/caption]
1: Juneau Douglas Bridge Connecting Alaska’s Capital City of Juneau to neighboring Douglas Island, this beautiful bridge was built in 1981 although the original bridge dates all the way back to 1935. Residents and visitors alike can now walk, bike, or drive across this bridge and enjoy scenic views all along the way. [caption id="attachment_18839" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Kathy Neufeld[/caption]
2: Knik River Bridge It’s hard to concentrate on the road when the majestic mountains above and the rushing river below are enough to grab all your attention. It’s an abundantly scenic crossing on the old Glenn Highway, a very nice alternative to the main bridge on the Glenn Hwy. [caption id="attachment_18846" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Kevan Dee[/caption]
3: Truss Bridge over the Nenana River This Mears Memorial railroad bridge crosses over the Tanana River, which flows down from the entrance of Denali National Park & Preserve. This is located en route to the small town of Healy, Alaska with the Healy Spur Road paralleling the bridge. At the north end of the bridge is where President Harding drove in the golden spike completing the Alaska Railroad in 1923. [caption id="attachment_18844" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - scott1346[/caption]
4: Hurricane Gulch Bridge This 918-ft long steel arch railroad bridge crosses Hurricane Gulch at milepost 284.2 on the Parks Highway. It is located 296 ft above Hurricane Creek. [caption id="attachment_18838" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Timothy Wildey[/caption]
5: Chicken Creek Bridge This historic bridge located in the tiny mining town of Chicken, Alaska is located at milepost 67 on the Taylor Highway. This is an old dredge site which was once operated by the Fairbanks Exploration Company from 1959 through 1965. During peak operation it was in motion for 24 hours a day, two full weeks at a time. Rumor has it that one run would bring in up to $40,000 worth of gold. Alaska’s gold rush history will never be forgotten. [caption id="attachment_18837" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Jimmy Emerson, DVM[/caption]
6: Captain William Moore Bridge This suspension bridge connects the South Klondike Highway (AK98) over the Skagway River Gorge, plunging roughly 180 feet below. [caption id="attachment_18842" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Jordan Confino Elevatedphotopro dot com[/caption]
7: Moose Creek Bridge Located in Chickaloon Village, you’ll find the remnants of a railroad bridge that once bridged the stream at Moose Creek. [caption id="attachment_18843" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters[/caption]
8: Little Susitna Railroad Bridge This is an 80-foot through-girder that was built sometime between 1927 and 1943 by the American Bridge Company. Floating the river below offers tremendous views of the historic bridge above. [caption id="attachment_18841" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Travis[/caption]
9: Veteran’s Memorial Bridge Crossing over the Chena River in Alaska’s “Golden Heart City” of Fairbanks, you’ll find this beautiful masterpiece which opened in November 2012. The flags represent each of the 50 United States in America which were presented by Festival Fairbanks 84 and the Fairbanks Downtown Association on January 3, 1984 commemorating 25 years of Alaska statehood. It connects the north and south banks of downtown Fairbanks on Illinois Street. [caption id="attachment_18850" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Bernt Rostad[/caption]
10: Snow River Railroad Bridge This steel truss railroad bridge across Snow River is located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Every few years Snow River has huge floods caused by a lake under a mountain glacier. It is said that when the lake accumulates enough water to float the glacier-ice plug at it’s outlet, millions of gallons of water flood down Snow River pouring into Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing. [caption id="attachment_18849" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - DCSL[/caption]
11: Soldotna Bridge Connecting Soldotna on the Sterling Highway south over the famous Kenai River heading down to the charming towns of Kasilof, Clam Gulch, Ninilchik, Anchor Point, and Homer. [caption id="attachment_18840" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Becky Torrey[/caption]
12: Pipeline Bridge Where the Trans-Alaska pipeline crosses the South Fork of the Koyukuk River. In the background, you can also see the Dalton Highway. [caption id="attachment_18847" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Bureau of Land Management Alaska[/caption]
13: White Pass Railroad Suspension Bridge This impressive, abandoned gulch bridge is no longer functional and instead the White Pass & Yukon Route now uses a smaller bridge a bit further uphill to transport guests and supplies from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse in the Yukon. [caption id="attachment_18851" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Miss Shari[/caption]
14: Placer River Trail Bridge Located in the Chugach National Forest, you might be shocked to learn that this is the longest clear span, glue laminate, timber truss bridge in North America. This is apart of the Whistle Stop Project, connecting either side of the Placer River near the Spencer Glacier and Grandview Whistle-stops on the famous Alaska Railroad route. When fully completed, this project will include over 30 miles of trails connecting five whistle-stops, cabins, and campsites. This will allow anyone visiting the opportunity to dive deep into the back-country without having to be an experienced back-country outdoors-man. [caption id="attachment_18848" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Forest Service Alaska Region, USDA[/caption]
15: Nenana River Bridge and FootBridge Located along the George Parks Highway near the entrance of Denali National Park & Preserve to “Glitter Gulch” - a tourism town with a plethora of resorts, restaurants, and shops for hundreds of thousands of visitors to this region each year. The grey milky color is due to glacier silt and snow melt washed in. [caption id="attachment_18845" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr - Jimmy Emerson, DVM[/caption]
Looking for another great read? You'll enjoy: Uncovering Alaska's Most Unique And Captivating Claims To Fame. Or, Road-Trippin' Alaska; Your perfect way to escape the crowds in 2020. Also, enjoy checking out America's least-visited National Park located right here in Alaska. If you love to cook (or eat), check out these 30 Scrumptious Alaska Recipes To Tantalize Your Taste-Buds.
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Written by Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Missing from the list is the wooden trestle and steel Kuskulana Bridge on McCarthy Road, 17 miles from Chitina. It was built in 1910 for the Copper River & Northwestern Railroad. Span: 525 ft. Height above river: 238 ft. Beautiful and very impressive.
Nice story…honorable mention for the “Bridge to Seattle” on Kodiak Island. We built our half … (but the way things are looking in 2020, maybe it’s okay they haven’t built their half yet).