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Time to move some dirt in Cooper Landing

They did build that

Posted: September 20, 2012 - 2:48pm

We’re taking odds right now on which public works project will see the first shovel-full of dirt moved: a natural gas pipeline coming off the North Slope, or the Sterling Highway Cooper Landing bypass.

Don’t get us wrong — we’re glad to see the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is working on the stretch of highway through Cooper Landing. The project focuses on miles 45 to 60, roughly Quartz Creek Road to the east end of Skilak Lake Loop Road. The Sterling Highway through that stretch has seen little improvement since it was originally constructed, with narrow, winding lanes and no shoulders. It certainly was not designed for the type and volume of traffic it receives now. How many of us fly to and from Anchorage to avoid that section of the drive, or refuse to drive it during certain times or seasons?

State officials have been kicking around the Cooper Landing bypass for decades, and a number of options have been presented. Each option, of course, has its challenges. The price tag is north of $200 million, and the highway passes through Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge along the way. As project manager Kelly Peterson said, as soon as you “step off the pavement, you are in somebody’s resource.”

In a best-case scenario, DOT would complete its draft environmental impact statement next year for review and a public comment period in 2014. Provided everything stays on track, construction could begin in 2018.

Six years seems a long time to wait for a project that’s been in the works for so long already. Considering the amount of traffic the road gets, it should be a much higher priority for state transportation officials. As the Kenai Peninsula continues to grow, that road is only going to get busier — and less adequate to handle the volume of traffic traveling along it. But if six years is what it will take, then let’s make sure the project gets the necessary resources to keep it on track.

No more delays — it’s time to move some dirt.

While we’re on the topic of building things, today is being promoted as National Tradesmen Day by IRWIN Tools. The idea is to show appreciation for all the skilled professionals who literally build our community — carpenters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, masons, welders — the list goes on, and to encourage more young adults to pursue a trade as a career choice.

There are a number of highly visible building projects under way in our community right now, such as the library and hospital expansions in Soldotna, as well as myriad commercial and residential construction and remodel projects. One suggestion, which a Clarion reader has said she is planning to follow, is to stop by a job site with a box of doughnuts or other token of appreciation. Another is to help or encourage a young person to explore a career in the trades.

Frequently, we don’t think about skilled tradesmen until it’s an emergency, but we’re grateful for the men and women who build and maintain our communities.

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spwright
1376
Points
spwright 09/21/12 - 01:45 pm
3
1
Lets TALK Some more

Fri 9/21/12
This project has been "Cussed & Discussed" since the beginning of time & STILL NO PROGRESS.

Lets TALK about that. Do some Research & assign yet another committee to study this issue.

Just like the Natural Gas Pipeline, All Our Leaders & Elected Officials EVER Do is Talk. Talk, Talk then Talk some More & when thats done Lets Talk Somemore. We need more current information, lets research some more.

ENOUGH ALREADY ! Do Something ! Move some Dirt already. Oh Wait maybe we need to Talk about that ?

2018 to begin Construction ? I'll be Dead & Buried before this project begins.

SPW"Airborne"

mhancock
7
Points
mhancock 09/22/12 - 08:29 am
2
2
Devils Pass Trail

Hey, great idea. Let's butcher 25 more miles of pristine AK backcountry so the tourists can get their behemoth home away from home around better. Then we can complain more about bear encounters and lack of wildlife as we encroach even deeper into their habitat. Heck, why don't we just pave the entire Peninsula and give the whole thing to the tourists. I imagine we are stupid enough to accomplish all of that. What idiots we are!

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 09/22/12 - 08:50 am
0
2
Cooper Landing Project

Why, oh, why is it taking so long? I've lived in Alaska all my 59 years and I can count the number of new roads, in my lifetime, on one hand. We have got to be the slowest state in the Union for getting anything done. If it wasn't for oil, our biggest employer would be study commissions! We study and study and when a study is finally finished...it's obsolete! So, a new study and so on and on and on.

Open up some new scenery, will ya, Capn. Zero? Oh wait, new roads don't involve oil companies, do they?

GeorgeH
8
Points
GeorgeH 09/23/12 - 07:51 am
4
0
HazMat's are the problem

Moving the road is not about better traffic flow - it's about protecting the river from total destruction.

The road on this section parallels the river and for much of it is right next to the river. There have been several trucks that I know about that have dumped their loads over the past few years... luckily mostly benign materials:
* two loads of groceries at the Gwin's corner
* one load of canned sodas at the Cooper Landing Bridge
* one load of lumber at the Russian River area
* one load of fertilizer into the ponds just down from the Russian

One not so benign - a load of diesel at the Gwin's Corner - but in winter when the culvert was frozen shut so a good result - a two year clean up effort across from the river.

Given all the various hazardous materials that have to travel the highway, do you really think it's a good idea to keep playing Russian Roulette with the river? Dump a load of chlorine, ammonia, or just gas in mid summer and see what happens...

I am very willing to give up a corner of the back country to protect the river. If you think the new stretch of road will impact bears think about what killing the river will do.

I own a tourism related business in Cooper Landing and expect to lose money if the road is moved but see it as cheap insurance compared to the cost of a single bad spill.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 09/23/12 - 08:33 am
3
1
Drive Thru Cooper Landing

Sun. 9/23/12
To be brutally honest, each time I would drive thru the Cooper Landing area. It would sincerely puzzle me as to WHY
a major highway is constructed within a few feet of a major River. Some spots you open your car door & you are in the river. Much much Too Close to a flowing River.
It's a Mystery to Me ?

Everyone has to admit that the Canyon Creek Bridge Project
(Hope Jct) was a POSITIVE Improvement for the Sterling Highway . Perhaps this New Route near Cooper Landing will be a Postive also ? I don't know yet ?

SPW in Slooooowdotna

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/23/12 - 10:34 am
2
0
Old means of building are to blame

Back when the roads in Alaska and to Alaska were built they just pushed most of the stuff aside and if i was a gambler i would say that into the river was a good place to push stuff rather than time and effort to haul it else where.

With the way Obama is causing America to go down the road of distruction i would be more worried about preparing for survival as a Nation, State, under this GR8 Divider while we straighten out OUR Nation, State, rather than getting the road straightened out to Anchorage.
If Obama keeps going as he is and not slowed down we wont be driving that road to Anchorage anyhow, but will be incamped here on the Kenai into two groups, those of us trying to survive the distruction of OUR freedoms against those that support this False Messiah and his Hopeless dreams of doing away with OUR freedoms and soverign rights.
We will be fighting at every turn during OUR OWN Civil war as a Divided nation and State and thats the desired results of this GR8 Divider and his worshipers of man rather than of God.
So which Road are you building, mans Temperal road or Gods Eternal Road? There are only two choices.
Build Baby, Build, those roads to Nowhere.

lkpomn912
931
Points
lkpomn912 09/23/12 - 12:18 pm
2
1
Seafarer Really funny. You’re

Seafarer Really funny. You’re joking right?

First You write: “”I knew I didn't like getting stuck on this peninsula, but after reading these comments, I am sure of it and will work even harder to get away from here.””

Then you write: ”I've lived in Alaska all my 59 years. We have got to be the slowest state in the Union for getting anything done””

Good News: The Federal Social Security safety ‘HAMMOCK’ will liberate you when you are 62. Those free checks can pay for you to “get away from here.” Cheer up. Detroit, Chicago, New York, Miami, all have lots of roads and no oil drilling in sight. (and you must be the slowest person for getting anything done if you’ve been working HARD to get away.)

freedomlibertytruth
1398
Points
freedomlibertytruth 09/23/12 - 12:38 pm
4
1
tree huggers will continue to stop any progress

*Big conflict, a safer road vs. Preservation of river.

the tree huggers will continue to stop any progress, even though these ugly crud-spilling hazmat accidents also damage the river.

They will silently accept civilizations roads slowly destroying the river, and actively prevent one swift well planned action that may protect it now and in the long term.

Spwright -Agreed that the Hope Junction was an improvement!

gfds98765
1013
Points
gfds98765 09/23/12 - 01:00 pm
3
1
Build the roads and put Alaskans to work.

Build the roads and put Alaskans to work.

JOBS, jobs, jobs. Chatty-Cathy tree-huggers and greenie- weenies do little to add to the prosperous living of Alaskans. They are obstructions that only block industry. They get paid to talk-talk-talk-talk and submit hooey-baloney studies.

Those tourists bring a lot of money to local people for the few months that they are here; as does the fishing.

WotW has a point – construction methods are greatly improved today. The new road may be a big advantage to drivers and to the little fishies.

lkpomn912
931
Points
lkpomn912 09/23/12 - 01:10 pm
2
1
Move the dirt, build the road,

Move the dirt, build the road,
or bring back ponies and stagecoaches for the river Nazis that are stopping the road building. They appear to want us to go back to the dark ages. Don’t care what they think, DO care what the actual Cooper Landing residents and business owners think. What do you want for your community?

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 09/25/12 - 03:40 pm
2
1
Free Checks ? 9/25/12

Tue 9/25/12
lkpomn912 What Planet are You From ?
Social Security Free Checks ? What are You talking about ?

I along with Millions of my fellow "Baby Boomers" worked for over 50 very long years, Social Security & MediCare was deducted from each & every Monthly Pay Check. Not once did we benefit from those LifeTime of PayRoll Deductions
until we reached age 65.
New Flash ! Social Security IS NOT A ENTITLEMENT as the Republicans would have you believe. SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE ARE EARNED INCOME. A LifeTime of PayRoll Deductions are collected before You receive One Dime of Income or Benefits.

Yeah Yeah I know ! I have a real social disorder & go into a Rant every time I hear the word Entitlement.

Thanks for Listening
Crusty Ole Fart in Slooooowdotna SPW

freedomlibertytruth
1398
Points
freedomlibertytruth 09/26/12 - 02:06 pm
2
0
FREE Checks spwright, planet social security is not ALL paid for

Spwright: The worker may get social security payments at retirement age based on their work contributions. Sounds solid, but it isn’t. I also don’t think that you have a “social disorder.” I think that you are a concerned citizen, but that these National issues are not solved with microscopic sound bites, and three syllable slogans.

However, If you believe that you are entitled to receive $500,000 to $750,000 in free money after you are 62 years old, when you know for a fact that you did not pay that much in FICA in your entire working lifetime. You are not being fiscally honest. After you receive all that you paid in, with a little interest, the rest of your paycheck is ENTITLEMENT. Who is providing the extra money that you receive?

What if SS only gave you the amount of money you paid into FICA, and perhaps the 1% that we are getting in our savings accounts, how much of a check would you really get each month. When would your money run out?

PLUS Social Security has a ‘special rule’; if you have worked for only ONE & ONE-HALF YEARS, benefits can be paid to your children and your spouse (who is caring for your children). Where is that money coming from? They barely put “One Dime” into the program.

Also what about the 8 million people receiving SS disability insurance, for being unable to work. Who’s paying for their share of the entitlement? Where is that money coming from.

It is a ponzi scheme. Starting in 1935 during the Great Depression. But they started with a Zero ($0.00) SS balance. So who paid those first entitlements? Where did the first money come from?

The money YOU paid in while you were employed, has already been paid out. You are now receiving the FICA money that workers ‘today’ are paying the government.

In 1940: 42 workers were paying in for every one retiree. Lots of cash, program looks good. People who paid IN only about $2,000 were receiving $20,000 or more in lifetime payments. Glorious, wonderful Social Security paychecks, halleluiah.

In 1950: 16 workers were paying for every one retiree. The average life expectancy was 68 years.

By 1960: there were 5 workers paying in for every one retiree.

Now 2012: there are only 3 workers for every Social Security recipient., and the number will continue to fall. While the age of life expectancy has risen to 78 years.

To compensate for this falling number of employed contributors to FICA, the original Payroll tax rate for Social Security in 1940 was only 2%, it has risen to 15% percent. Funny how little tiny payments like that have to get blown up, to keep up.

The SS system is Not like your savings account. It was Never meant to be, by intentional design. The more money you make and pay in, the less you get back. Although the higher income payer will still get a slightly higher payment, it is not a fairly calculated return. High Income payers receive about 20%, low income payers receive about 45%. Jo Barnhard, a former Social Security Commissioner spoke on this issue.

And by the way, I am relieved that I am not the only person who is angry, that everyone who protested Americans dying in war under a Republican president, are cheering the war under a Democratic president. Americans are still dying. Why they are not STILL protesting is proof of the falsity of their earlier ‘politically motivated’ fake anti-war riots.

Stop the WAR. Stop the Spending. Stop entitlements to the world.
Perhaps, I agree with you spwright, no one else cares, other than how it affects their ‘sides’ chances at the election booth.

lkpomn912
931
Points
lkpomn912 09/26/12 - 04:15 pm
2
0
use the force Luke, what does it tell you?

spwright, do you know that the person you are defending has not taken free entitlements in his life? He did, just as sure as the sun is shining. (Some how I don't think that you have lived off of anyone, but that you have carried your own 'grip' all of your life.)

JOAT
490
Points
JOAT 09/30/12 - 02:44 pm
1
1
Stupid idea... scrap it now

This is one of the dumbest project ideas I've heard of for this state. Break it down... our country is going bankrupt and ya'll want to spend over $200,000,000 in order to save yourself 6 minutes of driving time? Are you folks completely mental?

Ten miles of road at 35mph is about a 17 minute drive. At 55mph it is about an 11 minute drive. That's what we're talking about. Moving a few miles of highway over so you can go faster. And realistically the time difference would be even less as portions of the road through CL are actually 55 and 45mph.

Another embarrassing bridge to nowhere project that is going to put a ton of tax-payer money into the hands of lawyers and engineers with their hands in the pockets of the politicians tossing the cash around like they just scored big in Vegas with someone else's money. Oh, but it's YOUR money and it's a total waste of a project. Six minutes. Stuff that into your pipe and smoke it.

I drive that highway so often that I can do it blind-folded. The short little bit of road through Cooper Landing is pretty good road and a really quick and easy drive. Slow down to 35 and enjoy the 17 minutes of scenery. Leave 6 minutes earlier and you'll get to Anchorage at the same time as you would if the state spent $200 MILLION of YOUR tax money to build a meaningless road.

lkpomn912
931
Points
lkpomn912 09/30/12 - 03:58 pm
2
0
Clarion you're completely mental so stuff your pipe & smoke it

Clarion you're "completely mental" so "stuff your pipe & smoke it" so says JOAT. and your "stupid."

I think you're often the CATs MEOW in an imPURRfic world.

freedomlibertytruth
1398
Points
freedomlibertytruth 10/02/12 - 02:43 pm
1
0
JOAT Look who agrees with you, the Big Time Pol

JOAT Look who agrees with you, the Big Time Politician Barack Hussein Obama, research this statement.

'We don't need to build more highways out in the suburbs. We should be investing in minority-owned businesses, in our neighborhoods'

President Barack Obama

JOAT
490
Points
JOAT 10/03/12 - 07:52 am
0
0
Really?

Amazingly obtuse. So you think that Obie's desire to tax us working stiffs to death to give free phones to the minorities in the "neighborhoods" has anything to do with a bridge to nowhere project in Alaska?

What you have to gain from a Cooper Landing bypass highway... about 6 minutes.

What we have to lose from a Cooper Landing bypass... first leg of the resurrection pass trail system, $6,000 debt burden for every resident of the KP (which will end up twice that when the project runs over budget due to all the permitting red tape with building anything on park lands), business loss for Cooper Landing, reduced DOT maintenance levels as they now have even more highway to plow and repair with their already limited equipment, construction will go to an Anchorage based company and provide no local jobs, more speeders, etc, etc, etc

Conservatives need to stand up and fight these wasteful government projects at every turn. That goes equally for the projects down south as well as the projects in our backyards. Government spending MUST be cut everywhere possible. A 6-minute highway is not something government needs to be looking at right now.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/03/12 - 09:04 am
0
0
Middle class being BURIED

As the master of words and counting said it yesterday.
It is absolutely disgraceful and shameful the way the Middle class has been BURIED THE LAST 4 YEARS DUE TO TAXATION.
OOPS! Joey forgot one simple point, IT'S BO'S AND HIS WATCH THAT HAS RAISED TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS CAUSING US TO BE BURIED.
And if reelected they will finish the job with absolutely wasteful shovel ready projects designed to over load OUR National debt causing US to go off that Fiscal Cliff forever.

Projects ment to make the rich richer and the poor porer all with the BURIAL OF THE MIDDLE CLASS TAX PAYERS.

STOP THE MADNESS, and continual support of Road Wreckers that are allowed to do just enough cosmedic temperary coverup work that will not last for long and at an outrageious cost for doing these half#%**%@ jobs to boot.
We don't need anymore Road work done until we can get it done right and ment to last, which i doubt will happen in my life time due to the GR8 Alaska scams going on nonstop.

Alaska140
2
Points
Alaska140 07/04/13 - 07:51 am
0
0
Federal Fish and Wildlife Is holding up Construction?

From what I have gathered from rumors... The move viable path for the road needs to travel across only 19 acres of a corner of the Federal Refuge out of millions of acres of land that exists there. Thus far, it seems that any kind of agreement to release the land or to trade for it has been shot down by the Feds. Release of this land would probably have to be pushed by our state legislative office and approved by congress to get this road built is my understanding of it. It's sad that a state can't control it's own resources. Perhaps Brian could write us another article on this and make some phone calls to see what's the real hold up. Publicize this topic, call out by name whatever agency responsible for the hold up, and start taking control of our own State's future.

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