Ninilchik bridge replacement in the works

Built in 1972, the one-lane, steel stringer, wooden-decked Ninilchik River bridge leading into the village near the mouth of the river is finally being replaced. 

The bridge sustained flood damage in 2002. However, replacement had been in the planning since 1991, according to information provided by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

An invitation to bid on the project was published in October 2013. Samstrom and Sons was the winning contractor.

At the time of the bid award, the engineer’s estimate of the project was between $1 and $2.5 million. On Tuesday, Jill Reece, a right-of-way agent with DOT&PF in Anchorage, said revised costs indicate the project will have a $3.2 million price tag.

Scope of the work includes providing a temporary detour bridge, removing the existing bridge, widening the river channel, constructing a new bridge, armoring the new bridge abutments with riprap, removing the temporary detour bridge, and stabilizing disturbed areas. Grading, drainage, guardrail and signage also are part of the project.

The work is to be completed by Oct. 1, 2014.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at