O'Connell Bridge

Built in 1973, This bridge connects Sitka to Japonski Island where the airport and a hospital are located, as well as Mt. Edgecumbe High School, the causeway, and the University of Alaska Southeast. The bridge is popular for thrill seekers who jump off in the summer (and get picked up by freinds in boats, since it's not quite legal.) At least once, someone (not affiliated with us) attempted to climb the cables and towers, but fell off and had to be rescued by the Coast Guard.

When passing under the bridge, one sees a mysterious catwalk beneath the center, accesed by a conspicuous and dangerous manhole in the roadway, and also from the sides of the bridge, which are hollow. Our mission of November '99 was to penetrate the hollow sides and access the catwalk.

The catwalk under the center of the span

A much better picture, closer up and labeled.

Under the bridge, looking towards town.

Hmm, What's this?

"Domicile deprived people"  seem to live in here

One of the few artifacts inside: an antique Coke can

Bolts that hold the bridge sections together.

Alas, the way is blocked 1/3 of the way across by the cable support and a welded panel.

For a description of this expedition, please see our stories page.