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Bridge to get new look

Federal Building upgrading decades-old bridge

Posted: May 13, 2014 - 12:04am
The pedestrian bridge over Gold Creek to the Federal Building is scheduled to be replaced this summer.  Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
The pedestrian bridge over Gold Creek to the Federal Building is scheduled to be replaced this summer.

A 1960s-era bridge spanning Gold Creek adjacent to the federal building downtown has come to the end of its functional life.

The high arch and railing configuration of the old bridge — originally installed in 1966 — is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Modernization was inevitable.

“The rise-and-run was too high, so people with wheelchairs couldn’t navigate it easily unless they had help,” said Jim Langlois, the building’s property manager. “So we’re putting in a flatter bridge with a yellow cedar decking and aluminum construction.”

He added that the spacing of vertical beams in the railing was also not compliant with current laws.

“This is a safety improvement,” he said.

The bridge is used daily by federal workers who cross it to get between their parking lot and offices in the federal building. The work was originally planned to be complete by June 1, but the contractors are “a little behind at the moment,” Langlois said.

The current goal is for the new bridge to be installed and functional sometime during the first week of June.

• Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at Follow him on Twitter at

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Michael Haase
Michael Haase 05/13/14 - 07:13 am
Fast turn around

I contacted Charles Westmoreland just yesterday about this, today its on the front page. I guess they really do pay attention to the news tips!

On a side note, there is a LOT of metal in that bridge. Recycling metals uses less than 20% of the energy than using newly mined resources. I would like to see all of that iron, etc., hauled to Skookum or another recycling company.

Karl Ashenbrenner
Karl Ashenbrenner 05/13/14 - 08:34 am
I wonder

how long before the cedar decking will need replacing...a lot sooner than 50 years I suspect.

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