Bridging endangered habitat in Alaska's Cook Inlet

Not to be confused with “The Bridge to Nowhere” connecting the City of Ketchikan to its airport on Gravina Island, the 1.74-mile Knik Arm bridge cuts travel distance between Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, and its suburbs in Matanuska-Susitna Borough from 74 to 10 miles. The project also includes 19 miles of new roads. At press time, three consortiums were on the short list for a finance, design, build, operate, and maintain (FDBOM) contract. Construction could begin next year and is expected to be completed in 2016. Map: Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority

The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority is required to detect the presence of a beluga whale subspecies for at least one season before beginning construction as well as during construction. Until the agency proved otherwise, the engineering community assumed acoustical monitoring was more effective than optical monitoring for locating the endangered species. Photos: (top) Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority; (inset) Rock Solid Products |

Early-morning traffic builds on the Glenn Highway as 10,000 daily commuters make their way from the suburbs into Anchorage, Alaska's largest urban center with nearly 300,000 residents of its own. In addition to providing an evacuation route during emergencies, the Knik Arm Bridge will relieve congestion by providing another route to and from these communities. Photo: Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority

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