Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park plans to move a bridge on the Chilkoot Trail 200-feet upstream from its current location.
The bridge spans a branch of the Taiya River at mile 2.4 on the trail. According to the park’s Chief of Maintenance, Aric Baldwin, park staff plan to move the bridge on Thursday (5/16).
Baldwin says the shoreline supporting the bridge has become severely eroded due to flooding and changes to the river over the past few years.
The park’s Interpretation & Education Program Manager Jason Verhaege says staff plan to move the 62-foot long steel truss bridge to a more stable section of the river.
“This is going to be all person power,” Verhaege said. “So they are going to be literally lifting the bridge. Carrying it using pulleys and levers and what not to move this thing into position. So it’s quite a monumental feet to get this thing into position.”
Baldwin says the trail is currently open.
Verhaege does not expect the relocation will affect private companies that offer tours because they typically use only the first mile and a half of the trail. However, it is possible that some hikers will be affected.
“If anyone is interested in hiking, we do anticipate a closure of the trail but that doesn’t mean they can’t call even every day to find out whether or not the trail is available to them.”
The park office can be reached at 907-983-9200.