Letter: Borough errs on Island Lake Road work

Borough errs on Island Lake Road work

 

This letter reflects a problem with the State/Peninsula’s planning for construction and maintenance of roads.

An engineering error was made when culverts were dug and “cleaned” along Island Lake Rd. in Nikiski. The error has created both a hazard and a hardship for those who use this road.

The problem is that this project was engineered in anticipation of great rains instead of great snow. Rain quickly drains and soaks away on Island Lake Rd. Nikiski sits on gravel and once the top soil is scraped away, water disappears. Snow on the other hand, is guaranteed (and Nikiski gets more than average); and, as everyone knows, it stays and must be moved. Moving it requires space not nonly to pile it, but also for the snow plows to operate. In short, their problem is not rain, but SNOW. There hasn’t been a flood on Island Lake Rd. since Noah. To be sure, Island Lake Rd. was dangerous before the culverts were dug. It was narrower than code demands, it had no shoulders; large gravel trucks used it; there were no guard rails along severe drop-offs; kids thought it was a race track; 4-wheelers and other motor vehicles drove along the “mud highway” on the sides of the road, and as always, its curves were blind; and, when wet or frozen were especially hazardous. The speed limit was 35, but was rarely enforced. The North Roaders learned to live with it!

But, in addition to eliminating much-needed space to push snow, the excavation has created a NEW and ADDITIONAL hazard by obstructing the “mud highway” that runs parallel to Island Lake Rd. Four-wheelers and other motor vehicles are now forced to drive up onto the highway to avoid the culverts. Island Lake Rd. was dangerous before…now it’s even MORE dangerous. This whole project was not needed… Deep culverts were never needed forrain along Island Lake Rd., but room to move snow will be needed. The State engineered this project for rain. It should have been engineered to handle snow!

Norm Olson

Nikiski

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