U.S. Army Garrison Alaska has announced that, as of Monday, the River Road Bailey bridge will be closed for roughly two years while a new bridge is constructed.

A news release states that the U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Directorate of Public Works and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District expect the replacement bridge to be completed by fall 2021.

According to the release, bridge inspectors initially determined that the installation of “vehicle restricting portals” would be required on both ends of the bridge for it to remain open until construction begins on the new bridge. Ultimately, however, the cost of the portals for the short term was considered to be “prohibitive.”

The release urges “strict adherence to posted vehicle weight and speed restrictions in the remaining days the bridge is open” due to the continuing deterioration of the bridge’s weight-bearing components and structural members.

It also states that the bridge closure will not affect emergency response to Secluded Acres homes. 

“First responder vehicles have always used River Road to access Secluded Acres because of the Bailey bridge weight limits,” states the release.

Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.