Million dollar bridge mistaken identity

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by djroszina, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    Continuing out of McCarthy, can you make your way to the bridge in any way either by motor vehicle or hiking. There must be railroad grade , probably with tressals and bridges washed out, but it would be one hell of an adventure.
    #1
  2. KHud

    KHud Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,432
    Location:
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana
    I crossed it from the Cordova side a dozen or so years ago. It seemed like the trail petered out soon after crossing the bridge, but I was in a pickup truck at the time. Sounds like you will need to give it a try and report back..... if possible.
    #2
  3. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    “.....if possible”, does that mean if I survive??? Lol. I barely survived McCarthy, but that’s another story.

    But seriously, I wonder how far you could get going South from McCarthy on Nazina Road?
    #3
  4. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,518
    Location:
    DeLand Flatistan
    Google Earth shows it petering out at a big river
    #4
  5. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    And I’m wondering if that is the now closed bridge??? This is just a pipe dream playing around in my head placed there by a Scify channel episode on abandoned structures. It’s still there, they say it’s a tourist attraction, but don’t give info on how to access. I’ll have to rummage through my accumulated paraphernalia from my 2018 trip to McCarthy and see if I have a brochure from the outfitter I talked to there.
    #5
  6. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    Ok , I found it on Google maps satellite Nizina road gets pretty close and the ends of the bridge look torn down so at best it would be a photo in the distance, bring your telephoto lens. It looks small from the satellite image, but it would be quite big in person. Screenshot_20190211-062119_Maps.jpg Screenshot_20190211-062137_Maps.jpg
    #6
  7. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    Ok, my bad, the bridge I found is not the Miles Glacier Million Dollar bridge...but it is an old abandoned bridge segment and cost probably less. Next time up visiting McCarthy I will see if I can lay eyes on this "no name" bridge.
    #7
    Tewster2 likes this.
  8. That.guy

    That.guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    us
    I was about to post that.

    I know the road/trail south along the Copper River from Chitina starts getting increasingly rough past O’Brien Creek and would probably be best done on an ATV or light dirt/dualsport bike. A portion of the road between Cordova and the million dollar bridge washed out as well. I want to get down to Chitina and try running south down the river as far as possible this year, usually it’s just a quick trip to fill the freezer with fresh salmon each time.
    #8
    djroszina likes this.
  9. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    I will be back in the area in August of 2020 on either a Bmw F650 Dakar or a Suzuki DRZ400S. The trip up is focused more on obscure destinations and I will be packing ultralight. I’m doing some planning now so as to put an itinerary together.
    #9
  10. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,003
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    there was a slide across the road bed in '06ish that really forked up the old rail bed. you used to be able to drive a car back as far as Haley Creek but that slide did a number. the drive to O'Brian Creek if fine.... RVs make it there, but the bridge across the creek is only big enough for an ATV. its only a mile or so farther to the slide & like the whole side of the hill is coming down & will keep on coming. it changes every year. I rode over it on my KLR a few years ago, but turned back last time I was there on the GS. the ATV guys go over it (mostly to dip reds) & kinda keep the trail established but I don't know how much farther it goes. maybe as far as Tiekel, but you won't get over that one in the summer. in any case, guessing it would not be much of a trail once you get past the dipping spots. just after Obrian creek there is a cool sign the state put up that says it is life threatening to continue
    #10
    djroszina likes this.
  11. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,003
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    and that Nizina "road" stuff... that mostly goes east of McCarthy. Cordova is mostly south and a bit west. it's prolly 100 miles from Cordova & won't get closer. all OK though, still worth an explore. I've only done a couple miles of that one due to the NO FUEL available at the time. it's 60 miles from Chitna to McCarthy, and when there is no fuel at either place, the nearest is Kenny lake.... another 30 miles before Chitna. there was a time couple years ago when fuel was 180 mile round trip from K-lake to McC & back. last year there was fuel at both as I recall. check when you come though, it can change

    it would be a worthy campout & explore. the main part of the Kennicot area is being commercialized big time, the road is better than ever (as far as the mine). the only other good thing is they do a (paid) tour of the processing plant. 25-30 years ago... nobody cared... it was open. but then Parks took over and access was closed off. I took some friends from Oz there a couple years ago and they 'bout shit themselves on the tour... "bloody hell, you could never do this in Oz... too bloody dangerous" ha ha... these are tough guys & had no problem (loved it)... just an observation because safety rules in Oz are too strict to allow a tour in a collapsing 100 year old mill.
    #11
    djroszina and AKDuc like this.
  12. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    Last year I was able to get fuel right in Chitna. My F650 Dakar and its fuel bladder give me a 350 mile range. The bridge treesel pictured above is at the end of Nazina road according to Google maps. It also seems there are occupied dwellings off the road at that river, so I'm assuming the Nazina rd is used and minimally maintained. Call it a compulsion, but I just like riding down dead end roads, then turning around, lol.
    #12
    Beezer likes this.
  13. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,507
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    It's been a few years, but... of the several bridges that cross the Copper River far below the Million Dollar bridge, spring flooding washed out the approaches to a couple of them, and with the very limited traffic that goes out there, it was deemed -- at that time -- to not be worth repairing the highway. So unless that has changed, you won't get from Cordova to the east side of the Copper River and the road that used to take you to the M.D. bridge.

    And forget about getting down to it from Chitina unless you plan on hiking and carrying a packraft, or getting a jet boat or raft ride down through the canyon. I've been down there, but that was many years back. There are a couple of bridges still in place, but you won't get a motorcycle across them.
    #13
  14. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    I’m sorry that I confused people with my enthusiasm. I confused a bridge segment just SE of McCarthy with the Million Dollar bridge. Thanks to all for setting me straight...but when I get back up there, I’ll be chasing unicorns with my camera at the ready.
    #14
  15. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,507
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    Don't worry, we've been more confused than that on many occasions. In fact, for a lot of us, that is our normal condition. :norton

    :hide
    #15
    Tewster2, Dogslobber and djroszina like this.
  16. KHud

    KHud Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,432
    Location:
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana
    Hey Jack, how’s the Cheeto supply?

    So you can’t get to the MD bridge from Cordova on the Copper River Hwy.... bummer. We camped out by Miles Glacier about 10 years ago. The glacier calved with monotonous regularity and we could cross the bridge. An acquaintance was manning the salmon counting station and we got the tour. We tried to go back in 2012 but they stopped the daily ferry service from Valdez to Cordova. It was a great trip, sad to see it gone.
    #16
  17. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,628
    Location:
    Midwest
    For future reference, these days how would one get themselves and a motorcycle to Cordova now?
    #17
  18. KHud

    KHud Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,432
    Location:
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana
    By ferry. There used to be near daily service from Valdez. Last I checked back in 2012-13 the service was much reduced. Once or twice a week and from Whittier. Old info, for sure. You can find the schedule online.
    #18
    djroszina likes this.
  19. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,868
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Type in Alaska marine highway to begin your search. I like using the "Colored Grid" in "Schedules." Then up in the right hand corner you'll enter the month you're interested in and the area of AK, in this case Prince William Sound and you'll see something like this: https://www.dot.state.ak.us/oars/re...dule=Prince+William+Sound&action=Get+Schedule

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
    #19
    djroszina likes this.
  20. Oldthmpr

    Oldthmpr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Eagle River Ak
    For sure no access to the md bridge, the road stops at mile 37 the bride is at 50. That being said there's still plenty to explore around Cordova. Ferry service is pretty good, until the new state budget gutting, from Valdez or Whittier, if coming from anchorage/valley you can do a loop ferry out wtr to Cdv then CDv to vdz and ride back around.
    #20