As driver is cited, DOT plans Monday reopening of Glenn Hwy.

Published: Mar. 23, 2018 at 9:12 PM AKDT
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The Dept. of Transportation announced Friday that the closed section of the Glenn Hwy. at the South Eagle River exit should be reopened by the time Monday's morning commute hours roll around.

"We have work to do on top to make sure it's also safe," said DOT Commissioner Marc Luiken, "but our goal is by Monday morning to have traffic as normal."

The closure, stemming from an 18-wheeler colliding with an overpass at the exit, caused massive headaches for drivers from the time it happened Wednesday afternoon.

The driver has been cited for failure to follow conditions of the permit, according to Shannon McCarthy of the Dept. of Transportation. McCarthy said the citation was issued DOT's Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit.

Delays were improved slightly by the addition of a temporary ramp at the South Eagle River exit, and aided further by the closure of certain area schools and workplaces, which lightened the traffic flow on Friday.

McCarthy said that over the weekend - following the transport of the last material and equipment Friday - the bridge is to be fixed and the highway reopened. Saturday will be spent fixing the damaged bridge itself, cutting out the bad span and removing the risk of falling debris or beams along with it.

Sunday will be dedicated to clearing the area of crews and equipment, and on Monday, the highway will be back open for business, should everything go as planned.

"We're very fortunate," Luiken said. "Part of it is the way these girders are constructed. They'll take a good hit and not necessarily come down.

"I think we're fortunate it wasn't any worse than it was," he said.

After the fix, the focus will turn immediately to figuring out how to pay for the repair, estimated to cost about $1.8 million of state monies.

"We're going to get it fix and get traffic flowing," said Gov. Bill Walker on Friday, "and then we'll sort out where the funding comes from."

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE)...

Posted by Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities on Saturday, March 24, 2018