Iliamna River Bridge Construction Administration
Location: Iliamna, AK
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Project Overview x
The Williamsport-Pile Bay Road is a vital transportation link that connects Cook Inlet and Iliamna Lake, which ultimately flows into the Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest commercial sockeye salmon fishery. Commercial fishing crews rely on this route to save almost 1,000 miles of travel around the Alaska Peninsula each year. The road was constructed in the 1930s and is owned and maintained by the state, featuring a steel truss bridge that crosses the Iliamna River. However, the bridge suffered significant damage during a record flood in 2003, which led to the installation of a temporary bridge.
To replace the original bridge with a modern steel girder bridge, HDL’s Construction Services group brought their expertise in pile foundations, concrete bridge elements, and remote logistics to the challenging job site. The team provided a construction administration crew of three, with two members located onsite and one working from the Anchorage office. The team utilized a paperless system, which allowed them to prepare and transfer digital documents using touch tablets, improving productivity, reducing costs, and maintaining clear project records.
Despite the team’s efficiency, the logistics of reaching the remote job site proved challenging. Workers had to fly on a small aircraft to a nearby village before traveling by boat to reach their lodging while onsite for the project. From there, they had to travel upriver by boat each day to reach the project site. The Contractor faced issues during the construction of the drilled shafts for the pier foundations in the river, but HDL’s staff worked closely with them to solve the problem on time, avoiding additional costs for the client.
Thanks to HDL’s efforts, the project was completed on time and under budget, with the new bridge providing significant benefits to local users and making it easier to move goods to the Iliamna Lake area.