Glenn Highway reopens following semi collision
The southbound lanes of the Glenn Highway at the Eagle River bridge are back open after an 18-wheeler struck the overpass last week, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation.
Sunday evening the DOT took to Facebook to announce the reopening of the highway after a semi hauling an oversized load slammed into an overpass in Eagle River on Wednesday, causing big traffic headaches for thousands of people using the Glenn Highway over the weekend.
Crews finished removing the damaged area of the overpass around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Throughout the day, they finished removing debris from the roads. The lanes reopened around 10 p.m.
The bridge span, however, still needs to be replaced.
KTVA also learned Friday that the actual clearance of the overpass has been disputed. Crews measured Friday to clarify the numbers. The DOT says from the road to the bottom of the overpass, the clearance is 17.5 feet-- that's down from the initial report from DOT that indicated the clearance at 18.83 feet.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was cited following the collision. KTVA also obtained the permit that Bighorn Enterprises received for that truck to run on the Glenn. The permit says it was allowed an overall height of up to 17 feet. The exact height of the load has not been released by DOT.
The devastating collision has led to a wake-up call of sorts for the state when it comes to bridges all over Alaska.
"This is a lesson learned,” Gov. Bill Walker said Friday when touring the damaged overpass. “This is an opportunity for us. We have over 800 bridges in Alaska. So, we need to make sure-- those that would interrupt traffic like this has-- we have a response plan available for each bridge… So when this comes up again we just pull out the book, here's our response plan as far as how we alternate traffic-- and if we can keep the traffic flowing."
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