FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2012 No.: 12-2589
Contact: Brenda Hewitt, (907) 465-4772 or brenda.hewitt@alaska.gov

Historic Bridge for Sale

Brotherhood Bridge photo
Brotherhood Bridge. (Photo courtesy of Mike Knapp)

(JUNEAU, Alaska) –The historic Brotherhood Bridge in Juneau is up for sale.  The 319-foot long by 30.1-foot wide reinforced concrete slab-bridge is supported by welded steel plate girders and designed by Roy Peratrovich, Jr.  It was dedicated on Alaska Day, October 18, 1965 to carry traffic on the Glacier Highway over the Mendenhall River and to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Native Brotherhood.

The dedication had some distinguished dignitaries from the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood as well as government and civic leaders: Secretary of State Hugh Wade, Highway Commissioner Donald McKinnon, Senator Frank Peratrovich, Senator Richard Peter, Representative Elton Engstrom, Representative Bill Ray, Andrew Wanamaker and both Roy Peratrovich Sr. and Jr. among others.

The first recorded bridge that crossed the lower Mendenhall River dates back to 1903 when Mansfield Mining installed the infrastructure. A Record-Miner newspaper article on April 29, 1903 reported that “the businessmen of the place appreciating the enterprise of Mr. Day in opening up the whole country at an expense of many thousands of dollars in order that he might reach (his mine).”

The first bridge washed away in Sept. 1918 and was replaced two months later.  The third bridge was built in 1931.  The fifth bridge, to be built next year, will accommodate two lanes of traffic in each direction, a multi-use path on the upstream side and a sidewalk on the downstream side. The DOT&PF is also investigating ways to incorporate the ten distinctive bronze eagle and raven memorial medallions that were a focal point of the current bridge. 

In order to preserve this historic structure, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is willing to transfer ownership of the bridge to a responsible party for removal to a new location. 

“It’s not going to be easy,” said Rich Pratt, DOT&PF Chief Bridge Engineer.  “It has lead based paint that will have to be removed and treated first.”  The structure is constructed of steel plate girders, concrete and steel piers, and concrete abutments; the deck is reinforced concrete with an asphalt overlay.  After taking it apart and moving it to a new location, it would need to be reconstructed to preserve its historical nature."

Interested parties should contact Jane Gendron, Environmental Manager, DOT&PF SE Region at (907) 465-4499 or email her at jane.gendron@alaska.gov.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 255 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,619 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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