The Knik Arm Crossing was first envisioned in 1923 by railroad engineers looking for a more direct route to the Interior gold fields. Since that time, the idea has been revisited and discussed by a variety of people and organizations. It was not until 2003, when the Alaska State Legislature established the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (AS 19.75), that it became an active transportation project.

The project will construct a 1.74 mile bridge connecting downtown Anchorage with the southern Matansuka-Susitna Borough. In addition, the project builds 18 miles of roads to support the bridge and integrate it into the existing transportation infrastructure.

The purpose of the project is to address the current and projected transportation needs of the region, create an efficient link between the Port of Anchorage and Port MacKenzie, stimulate economic growth in the state, and implement the Alaska legislative mandate.