Caitlin Frye with Alaska DOT&PF recently shared this information with the club about the effects of bridge construction on Chena River travel this summer:

Our construction teams here at DOT&PF have put together a flyer with some information about what to expect when traveling on the Chena River through our bridge construction projects this summer. Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think would be interested.

One of the key points is that, although the river will be mostly open this summer, if people choose to travel on the river through these construction zones at the University Bridge and the Wendell Bridge, they will need to know how to control their boats. We’ll have lots of signs along the river and at the boat launches in town warning people about what to expect, but people should consider floating a different part of the river if they are inexperienced.

We will be reaching out to other groups and businesses in town in the coming weeks, but we would also absolutely support all of your spreading the word to your friends and family so they are aware of what to expect. This will definitely be a different year for river travel, but we are confident that the improvements we’re making this year will make for better river experiences in the future.

Flyer Content (Text)

What to Expect During Bridge Construction

Alaska DOT&PF is replacing the University Avenue Bridge and the Wendell Avenue Bridge in 2021. If you are inexperienced or want to have a relaxing river trip, we suggest you avoid these construction zones. If you do travel through them, here’s what to expect.

YOU’LL NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CONTROL YOUR BOAT

-The channel under the bridge will be narrow, water will be moving faster, and there could be hazards in the water.
–Construction zones will be “no wake zones” so motorized boats will need to slow down.
-Height clearance will be similar to the Peger Bridge.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS

-You will see signs at the boat launches and along the river.
-River traffic traveling with the flow of the river will have the right-of-way under bridges, and opposing traffic will need to yield.
-Always wear a life jacket and never drink or use substances while navigating the river!

THE RIVER WILL STAY OPEN, EXCEPT FOR SHORT INTERMITTENT CLOSURES

-Starting in mid-May and through most of the summer, daytime river traffic will be stopped intermittently for roughly 20 minutes at a time.
-The short closures will happen when the construction crew is placing girders over the channel or removing structures.
-We will notify river users at nearby boat launches and with flaggers at the river when the closures are taking place.
Created by the Alaska Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities, April 2021. More info: 907-451-5307

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