Kasilof Community News

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2008

Weight restrictions were posted on Kasilof roads as of March 24. A myth has road maintenance men sticking long poles in potholes then when they feel an automobile, weight limits are assigned.

Actually, there are 10 probes located in the highway between Anchorage and Homer. Holes were drilled, and six-foot long probes were installed through the asphalt and wired to pedestals. Some of these are hooked to phone lines, sending information to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities the University of Alaska and other agencies.

Information from the other probes is obtained by a site visit. The probes record the temperature every three inches for the first foot and every six inches for the next five feet. By this information the DOT knows when to put up the weight restrictions.

Quite a bit of thought has gone on at the Borough Assembly over the past couple years regarding roads. Terry Cowart, a Kasilof land developer, was involved in the process. He attended numerous meetings about roads and material sites or gravel pits. He developed written analysis and suggestions for changes in borough code and advised against adopting an ordinance requiring the construction of roads in some subdivisions before the Borough approves subdivision plats.

Mary Toll is another Kasilovian involved in roads. She has been a platting officer for the borough since 1990 and has been the head platting officer for several years.

Mary and Terry attended the March 17 meeting of the Borough Roads Service Area Board to offer their expertise on a stream-crossing ordinance.

Before the assembly now is the matter of protecting stream habitat at road and trail crossings. Millie Martin of Homer was the only member of the assembly in attendance, but 27 other interested people were sardined in the room. Everyone there seemed interested in protecting salmon, and a consensus arose that the borough code should require the use of an engineer to design each stream crossing. Several people lamented about the cost but an engineer was present and thought that an engineering job over the smallest anadromous stream might run as high as $3,000 to $5,000. Given the value of salmon to the people of the Borough and the high cost to tax payers for fixing stream crossings run amok, engineering gained favor.

It has been reported that an unknown person planted wooden tulips in Mary Toll's yard last week. Of course, this can only be a message from Woden Two Lips, the ancient Viking god. For sure he means to send kisses Kasilof's way.

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