The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has hired a security firm to control access across the new Tanana River bridge at Salcha for hunters to get across to the training area west of the river.
Department spokeswoman Kalei Rupp says Goldbelt Security-Alaska will hand out state liability-waiver forms needed to cross the bridge. She says hunters can fill out those forms after they register with Fort Wainwright to enter the Tanana Flats Training Area, west of the river.
“Our security team will have a communications trailer there onsite,” Rupp said. “They’ll have the liability waivers on-hand, should anybody need something like that. They’ll also have hunting and fishing regulations books.”
The $187 million bridge was built by the Alaska Railroad with about $82 million in state funding. It was intended to enable military personnel and equipment to get year-round access to the Tanana Flats Training Area.
The bridge was completed on Aug. 5. But officials with the state agencies hadn’t worked out which would be responsible for access across the bridge until last week.
Rupp says the state Military and Veterans Affairs department will manage the $75,000 contract with Goldbelt Security. The company will control access from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through September. Otherwise, a gate to the bridge will be locked.
Rupp says the state hasn’t yet worked out a long-term arrangement for access to the bridge.