Months after a rockslide off Mount Maria left the downtown Basin Road Trestle damaged and scattered with debris, repairs are set to take place beginning next week.
Spanning from May 26 to June 11, the trestle will be closed to pedestrian traffic between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. while a contracted construction company works on the repairs, according to City and Borough of Juneau Engineering Project Manager Jeff Thole. It will stay closed to vehicular traffic, too.
“It’s a relatively small location of damage, not structurally damaging, but significant enough for us to get underneath and take care of the damaged pieces, which involves opening up the bridge to replace the pieces,” he said.
Thole said pedestrians will still be able to access the trestle using a temporary footbridge along the work zone during off-work hours unless advised otherwise throughout the process, though he warned there may be periods of full-time closure.
“Cutting off all traffic gives them the best opportunity to finish the work efficiently,” he said.
Popular trails that are typically accessed by the trestle, such as the Perseverance Trail system, are still accessible anytime, despite the trestle closure, by using a different entrance at Evergreen Avenue that leads to the Flume Trail.
Thole said once the repairs are finished, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities bridge engineers will inspect the trestle before it is opened to vehicular traffic again. He said that the inspection will likely happen shortly after the repairs are finished in mid-June, and the bridge is expected to also undergo its biannual review by the DOTPF during that time.
According to Tom Mattice, CBJ Emergency Programs manager, the trestle area is not an atypical place for rockslides to occur and noted that there have been multiple similar events in the past.
Mattice said though the repairs slated for next week are necessary, he expects the recent rockslide won’t be the last time the trestle is damaged.
“The area has been and will continue to be active and I’m quite certain rocks will move again — the question is how big?” he said.
According to city hazard maps, the site is considered to be in both an avalanche and landslide zone. Mattice said the city will continue to monitor the area above the trestle for any potential slides, but noted mitigation measures can be difficult due to the vast amount of terrain in Juneau where rockfalls can occur.
“We see a rock fall all the time, and I’m sure we will see something like this again,” he said.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at email@example.com or (651)-528-1807.