Several downtown Anchorage streets will be blocked starting Friday afternoon, in preparation for Saturday’s ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

According to a map provided by Anchorage police Friday morning, 4th Avenue – where this year’s field of nearly 70 mushers will ride down the snow-covered street, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday – will be closed between Cordova and I streets. Cordova, Barrow and C through I streets will also see closures between 3rd and 5th avenues.

The closures, which will also prevent on-street parking in the same areas, begin Friday at 3 p.m. and will continue through 7 p.m. Saturday. Cordova Street, on which mushers will travel south from 4th to the Chester Creek Trail, is also affected.

“All side streets on Cordova Street between 4th Avenue and 16th Avenue, with the exception of 9th Avenue, will be closed to traffic,” municipal officials wrote. “Please expect short delays on 9th Avenue at Cordova and obey all traffic control devices and signals.”

The Iditarod restart, when mushers formally begin traveling the 1,000-mile trail to the Burled Arch in Nome, takes place on Willow Lake in the Mat-Su at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Buses are available at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday to carry people to the restart, from Iditarod headquarters at the Lakefront Anchorage hotel on Spenard Road. Return buses will take people back to the Lakefront hourly from 4 p.m. through 6 p.m.; round-trip fares are $10 per person for Iditarod volunteers and $20 for spectators.

Buses to the restart are also available from Wasilla, Houston and Talkeetna at various times from 11 a.m. to noon in Talkeetna and as late as 1 p.m. in Wasilla; the round-trip cost is $2 per person, with children 12 and under riding free. Pickup locations and return times are available on the Iditarod website.

KTVA is the official station of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Watch Channel 11 and for extensive coverage of both the ceremonial start and the restart, as well as the Iditarod overall.

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