FAIRBANKS - The bridge over the Tanana River east of Tok on the Alaska Highway was demolished on Tuesday.
Built in 1943 during the construction of the Alaska Highway by the U.S. military, the old Tanana River Bridge was a 946-foot-long truss bridge. It was one of only five truss bridges built in Alaska during World War II that remained in use.
Traffic was diverted to the new Tanana River Bridge at 1,303 Mile Alaska Highway last fall, and demolishing the old structure was the final piece of the project.
On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Transporation and Alaska Interstate Construction crews used explosives to demolish the bridge.
The new 903-foot-long bridge is located 225 feet downstream from the old bridge. The improved structure of the new bridge can handle large weight loads and is built to current earthquake standards.
The $31 million project was awarded to Alaska Interstate Construction of Anchorage. Construction began April 2009. This summer a boat ramp and interpretive wayside will be built and the project will be completed by September 2011.
Video of the Tanana River Bridge demolition can be viewed here and here.