Articulated Arm Bridge, Alaska
|Articulated Arm Bridge|
|Total length||2,500 meters|
|Main span||84 meters|
|Bridge deck height||9 meters|
|Traffic intensity||? mvt/day|
The Knik Arm Bridge was a planned bridge in the United States, located near Anchorage, Alaska. The 2.5 kilometer long bridge had to span the Knik Arm.
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The bridge will be a regular girder bridge with spans of 84 metres. The vertical clearance will be 9 meters in relation to average high water. The length of the bridge is quoted as 8,200 ft (2,500 m) and 9,200 ft (2,900 m). The bridge project also includes 30 kilometers of connecting infrastructure on both sides of the Knik Arm.
The first plans for a bridge over the Knik Arm emerged in 1923, when the railroads explored a shorter connection from Anchorage to the interior of Alaska. It was mainly about a shorter route to Fairbanks. However, the plan was not pursued. In the 1950s, a bridge connection was re-examined by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. In the 1960s, a town of 20,000 residents was planned at Point MacKenzie, including a subway line across the Knik Arm. In the 1970s, a road bridge over the Knik Arm was approved by the Alaska Department of Highways.
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The bridge should make it possible to develop new residential areas and industrial estates on the north side of the Knik Arm. The so-called “Anchorage Bowl”, the valley in which Anchorage is located, is growing rapidly in population, but has little room to expand. The bridge will reduce the distance to Point MacKenzie by 100 kilometers and long-haul traffic between Anchorage and Fairbanks by 50 kilometers. The cost of the bridge and connecting connections was estimated at $782 million at the time. In 2010, the project was awarded the Record of Decision after the Final Environmental Impact Statement was published.
The Knik Arm Bridge was originally envisioned as a toll road, managed by the Knik Arm Bridge And Toll Authority, which was created in 2003. However, because the bridge is a long-term project, the economic benefits of which will only materialize after a longer period of time due to the development of new living and working areas north of the Knik Arm, a toll road turned out to be unfeasible, because in the first years it was only would attract little traffic. In March 2014 it was therefore decided to continue the project as a publicly financed project, without tolls. Due to the low oil prices from the second half of 2014, Alaska had a sharp drop in tax revenues and work on the project was temporarily halted. The moratorium was lifted again in July 2015. However, in March 2016, the FHWA withdrew federal funding. Since then, no progress has been made on the project.
A traditional Inuit dancer
The area that now forms the state of Alaska was first colonized about 12,000 years ago by Eskimo peoples such as the Yupik and Inuit and by various Native American tribes. They reached Alaska via the Beringland Bridge, the then dry or frozen Bering Strait. Most eventually moved further into the Americas.
Colony of Russia
The first Europeans to explore the area came from Russia. On August 20, 1741, the Danish-Russian explorer Vitus Bering reached the Gulf of Alaska during one of his expeditions and saw Mount Elias. He landed on Kayak Island, an island off the coast, and sailed past the Kena Peninsula and Kodiak Island. Partially following the Aleutian Islands, the ship sailed back to Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia, eventually landing on Bering Island. There, Bering eventually died of scurvy during the winter. The Russians named the sea between Russia and newfound Alaska after him, the Bering Strait. Several Russian fortresses were established in Alaska. The colony was used by the Russians for hunting and fishing. At the same time, the Russians set up villages, churches and schools for the indigenous population. In 1799, the colony of Russian America was founded. Incidentally, the Russians also had fortresses in California and Hawaii, which also fell under Russian America. From 1850 the yields of fur fell, because there were fewer and fewer animals to hunt. The Russians were also afraid that the British would conquer Alaska from their colonies in Canada. Alaska would be extremely difficult to defend for the Russians. Because of this, the Russians eventually decided to sell the area.
United States Purchase
The Alaska Purchase
Even before this time, the Americans wanted to expand their empire to the north. According to the Americans, Canada, Greenland and Russian America should become part of this empire. The United States would have the privilege of ruling over North America. This is called Manifest Destiny. At the instigation of Secretary of State William Seward, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia on April 9, 1867. The price they paid for it, $7,200,000, wasn’t high, because Russia thought the country was worth nothing. The formal transfer of sovereignty took place on October 18, a date that has since been celebrated as Alaska Day. The Alaska purchase was not very popular in the US and it became Seward’s Folly (Sewards joke) or Seward’s Fridge(Seward’s refrigerator). It was thought that the area was worthless. Until 1884, the future state was called the Department of Alaska and then, until 1912, the District of Alaska. It formally became a US territory in 1912 and 47 years later, on January 3, 1959, it was admitted to the Union as the 49th state. The time since the purchase has shown how little was actually paid for the area. Gold, coal, oil and other natural resources now mined in Alaska have prospered the state. Russia sold Alaska to the US on March 30, 1867, the US has $7,200,072 dollars. It was called Seward’s Folly. In the US, the Alaska Purchase did not become as popular. October 18 is Alaska Day. Until 1884, Alaska was called Department of Alaska. And until c was called Alaska District of Alaska.
During World War II, some islands in the Aleutian Islands were taken by Japanese forces as a diversion from the upcoming Battle of Midway. Attu, Agattu, and Kiska became the only part of the present-day United States to be occupied by enemy forces during the war. Alaska was admitted to the Union as the 49th state on January 3, 1959. On Good Friday in 1964, Alaska was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes on record. The quake, which measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale, killed 131 people, mostly from tidal waves the quake had caused. At the beginning of the 21st century, Alaska was still one of the least populous states in the US with a population density of only 0.42 per km².