Cities plan variety of improvements to infrastructure

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Numerous capital projects are on the horizon for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's major cities in 2003. Some of these are new plans; others are ongoing projects that will be completed in the upcoming year.

Kenai

"One of the biggest projects we're working on is the Kenai Coastal Trail project," said Keith Kornelis, the city's public works manager.

The project not only endeavors to control erosion along the bluff, but also aims to improve tourism with the 1.1-mile trail that overlooks the Kenai River.

"A $500,000 grant has already been given to the Corps of Engineers to carry out the work," Kornelis said about the proposed $10 million project.

"Studies on hydrology, biology and sedimentation also will be done."

The city recently saw the completion of the new $5 million airport fire station. Additional snow removal equipment for the airport was purchased in 2002, as well.

Airport projects for 2003 include $250,000 in security improvements, additional fencing will be added and runway extension will occur.

Larry Semmens, the city's finance director, said there will be $500,000 worth of improvements made to the sidewalks and ramps at the terminals to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We're in compliance now, but this will make things even easier," Semmens said.

City street paving projects being done through the local improve-ment districts will continue in the new year. Work is expected to be completed in several areas.

Work also will continue this year on the new well and well house for the city's water system.

"Two tested wells were drilled (in 2002) and neither were the quantity or quality we needed," said Semmens.

More test drilling is planned for this year. It is hoped the new well will increase the city's water supply and improve the reliability of the system.

The $300,000 waste water facility master plan for a sewer system and waste water treatment plant is expected to be completed. CH2M Hill Company has been conducting the work and is about 65 percent complete.

These are just the city's main improvements for 2003. Numerous smaller projects also are planned.

Soldotna

"There's a lot on the books for 2003," said Marti Wilkison, the acting treasurer and finance officer for the city.

"The plan to add a third clarifier and ultraviolet system at the water treatment plant continues," Wilki-son said. "More funds have been applied for, but the results of these requests are still pending."

A portion of East Redoubt will be paved, and a $250,000 grant has been allocated to putting in a culvert at East Soldotna Creek.

Wilkison said a grant also has been received to continue the work at the Soldotna Sports Center. With a state share of $100,543 and a local share of $30,485, the total cost of the project will be $131,028.

A $150,000 state grant was used for preliminary designs on the Funny River water and sewer main extensions.

Following this work, a large grant is expected so work can begin to build the system.

The plan to build a new bridge over the Kenai River is still on the books, but has been slowed by the issue of ground contamination within the proposed area.

Homer

"The biggest thing were looking forward to is the completion of the new marine center for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Re-fuge," said Carey Meyers, the city's public works director.

The $10 million center has been named the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and is being built by Jay-Brant Construction. The facility is scheduled to open in October.

"It should bring jobs to the community and will give visitors one more thing to see in Homer," Meyers said.

Another project aimed at serving residents and tourists alike is the proposed Homer Spit Trail. Meyers said he hopes to see the state complete designs on the trail that would run from the fishing hole to the ferry terminal at the far end of the spit.

The trail would provide improved safety to bikers and pedestrians traveling within these points.

The $11 million Pioneer Dock will see its finishing touches this year. The dock is expected to be completed by summer and has promised to improve the transportation infrastructure of the peninsula.

The dock already is prepared to receive the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Hickory, which will replace the smaller buoy tending vessel Sedge.

"The $1.5 million water storage tank should be completed by summer," Meyers said. The tank's storage capacity is up to a million gallons.

Meyers said the state also will initiate the long awaited construction on East End Road. The $1 million renovations will occur between Miles 0 and 3.75 on the Sterling Highway.

In addition, a $6 million repaving project will be carried out on Bartlett Street from Pioneer Avenue up to South Peninsula Hospital.

Also, $2.5 million in water and sewer extensions are planned for 2003, among the list of other projects expected to be carried out.

Seward

In Seward, several projects will kick off this year and many of the projects that began in 2002 will see completion.

The $160,000 project that included the purchase of a generator and construction of a new building to house the generator for the Seward Lift Station No. 3 should see completion, Rick Gifford, director of administrative services for the city, said.

The ongoing fire hydrants upgrades also should be completed.

The construction of sidewalks, storms drains and new pavement for Port Avenue and for Fourth Avenue between Port Avenue and Van Buren Streets also is anticipated to see completion by June 30. This project is estimated to have a cost of $2.1 million

As for what will begin in the new year, the big project for the city of Seward is the $5 million East Harbor expansion.

The first phase of this project includes the removal of the current east breakwater, construction of a new east breakwater and a new entrance channel.

According to Gifford, $1million in funding already is in place for this project with another $4 million currently in the federal appropriation process.

The Corps of Engineers currently is preparing plans and specifications with bidding expected to go out in April or May.

BYLINE1:By JOSEPH ROBERTIA

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

Numerous capital projects are on the horizon for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's major cities in 2003. Some of these are new plans; others are ongoing projects that will be completed in the upcoming year.

Kenai

"One of the biggest projects we're working on is the Kenai Coastal Trail project," said Keith Kornelis, the city's public works manager.

The project not only endeavors to control erosion along the bluff, but also aims to improve tourism with the 1.1-mile trail that overlooks the Kenai River.

"A $500,000 grant has already been given to the Corps of Engineers to carry out the work," Kornelis said about the proposed $10 million project.

"Studies on hydrology, biology and sedimentation also will be done."

The city recently saw the completion of the new $5 million airport fire station. Additional snow removal equipment for the airport was purchased in 2002, as well.

Airport projects for 2003 include $250,000 in security improvements, additional fencing will be added and runway extension will occur.

Larry Semmens, the city's finance director, said there will be $500,000 worth of improvements made to the sidewalks and ramps at the terminals to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We're in compliance now, but this will make things even easier," Semmens said.

City street paving projects being done through the local improve-ment districts will continue in the new year. Work is expected to be completed in several areas.

Work also will continue this year on the new well and well house for the city's water system.

"Two tested wells were drilled (in 2002) and neither were the quantity or quality we needed," said Semmens.

More test drilling is planned for this year. It is hoped the new well will increase the city's water supply and improve the reliability of the system.

The $300,000 waste water facility master plan for a sewer system and waste water treatment plant is expected to be completed. CH2M Hill Company has been conducting the work and is about 65 percent complete.

These are just the city's main improvements for 2003. Numerous smaller projects also are planned.

Soldotna

"There's a lot on the books for 2003," said Marti Wilkison, the acting treasurer and finance officer for the city.

"The plan to add a third clarifier and ultraviolet system at the water treatment plant continues," Wilki-son said. "More funds have been applied for, but the results of these requests are still pending."

A portion of East Redoubt will be paved, and a $250,000 grant has been allocated to putting in a culvert at East Soldotna Creek.

Wilkison said a grant also has been received to continue the work at the Soldotna Sports Center. With a state share of $100,543 and a local share of $30,485, the total cost of the project will be $131,028.

A $150,000 state grant was used for preliminary designs on the Funny River water and sewer main extensions.

Following this work, a large grant is expected so work can begin to build the system.

The plan to build a new bridge over the Kenai River is still on the books, but has been slowed by the issue of ground contamination within the proposed area.

Homer

"The biggest thing were looking forward to is the completion of the new marine center for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Re-fuge," said Carey Meyers, the city's public works director.

The $10 million center has been named the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and is being built by Jay-Brant Construction. The facility is scheduled to open in October.

"It should bring jobs to the community and will give visitors one more thing to see in Homer," Meyers said.

Another project aimed at serving residents and tourists alike is the proposed Homer Spit Trail. Meyers said he hopes to see the state complete designs on the trail that would run from the fishing hole to the ferry terminal at the far end of the spit.

The trail would provide improved safety to bikers and pedestrians traveling within these points.

The $11 million Pioneer Dock will see its finishing touches this year. The dock is expected to be completed by summer and has promised to improve the transportation infrastructure of the peninsula.

The dock already is prepared to receive the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Hickory, which will replace the smaller buoy tending vessel Sedge.

"The $1.5 million water storage tank should be completed by summer," Meyers said. The tank's storage capacity is up to a million gallons.

Meyers said the state also will initiate the long awaited construction on East End Road. The $1 million renovations will occur between Miles 0 and 3.75 on the Sterling Highway.

In addition, a $6 million repaving project will be carried out on Bartlett Street from Pioneer Avenue up to South Peninsula Hospital.

Also, $2.5 million in water and sewer extensions are planned for 2003, among the list of other projects expected to be carried out.

Seward

In Seward, several projects will kick off this year and many of the projects that began in 2002 will see completion.

The $160,000 project that included the purchase of a generator and construction of a new building to house the generator for the Seward Lift Station No. 3 should see completion, Rick Gifford, director of administrative services for the city, said.

The ongoing fire hydrants upgrades also should be completed.

The construction of sidewalks, storms drains and new pavement for Port Avenue and for Fourth Avenue between Port Avenue and Van Buren Streets also is anticipated to see completion by June 30. This project is estimated to have a cost of $2.1 million

As for what will begin in the new year, the big project for the city of Seward is the $5 million East Harbor expansion.

The first phase of this project includes the removal of the current east breakwater, construction of a new east breakwater and a new entrance channel.

According to Gifford, $1million in funding already is in place for this project with another $4 million currently in the federal appropriation process.

The Corps of Engineers currently is preparing plans and specifications with bidding expected to go out in April or May.



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