Less than one month after the opening of the first roundabout at the intersection of Binkley Street and Wilson Lane, the downtown improvement plan is still on track.
Construction is moving steadily toward Redoubt Avenue, the second intersection of Soldotna’s three-tiered Binkley Street improvement plan.
In the first week of July, workers are laying the concrete for the widening of both sidewalks between Riverview Avenue and Redoubt Avenue, said project manager for the Binkley Street Improvements Lee Frey.
“There is a lot of new sidewalk between Redoubt and Riverview,” Frey said. “It is all being redone.”
On the eastern side of the roadway sidewalks will range between 7 feet wide and 8 feet wide, including thick green strips to separate bikers and pedestrians from the faster moving vehicle traffic, Frey said. Across the street the sidewalk will be about 6 feet wide.
The Binkley Street improvement plan focuses on creating routes that are safe and convenient for foot and bicycle traffic, as well as motorists, Frey said. The intersection of Redoubt Avenue and Binkley Street is scheduled to be complete by the end of July.
Public churches, doctor’s offices and apartment complexes are the structures dealing with the traffic constraints, Frey said.
The first few days are the most challenging for residents, Frey said. While the city tries to get the word out on Facebook and the City of Soldotna website it still takes some by surprise, and others just need a few days to get used to the change, he said. So far, the city has heard mixed feedback on the Wilson Lane roundabout, which opened to traffic on June 11, Frey said.
While there have been a few complaints, people are generally figuring out how to use the new intersection.
“I think people are still getting used to it,” Frey said.
Overall, things have gone smoothly, and Frey said he is happy with the project’s progression.
The entire project will be finished in October, Frey said. The project has managed to stay on schedule even after occasionally running into some unexpected repairs. “You always find something you weren’t expecting when you are digging underground,” Frey said.