By Leigh Armstrong

The replacement for the William Henry Moore Bridge is nearing completion, with paving and final touches underway the week of Sept. 23. 

The new bridge is in use, but traffic is one way and being guided by pilot vehicles until paving is complete. 

The original 110-foot-long suspension bridge was built in 1976 at Milepost 9.5 of the Klondike Highway. It was determined the bridge was too narrow for current highway standards, and the larger trucks coming in and out of Skagway necessitated a replacement. 

Rather than use the same suspension style, the new bridge is a roller-compacted concrete bridge, which will handle the seismic activity of the gorge better. Additionally, the lifespan of the new concrete bridge is rated longer than that of the original. 

The new bridge is 150 feet west of the old Moore Bridge, and slightly changes the path on the Klondike Highway, but trucks will no longer be limited to crossing one at a time as they were on the old ridge. 

Construction on the new bridge was started in 2017 by Hamilton Construction, with initial plans for completion scheduled for 2018. After delays, construction was halted for winter and started again in 2019. 

Though the old bridge will no longer be open to vehicles, it will still be open for pedestrians and used as a viewpoint for visitors.