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Rising costs shorten roads lists

Posted: Thursday, June 01, 2006

A host of borough roads have been proposed as maintenance projects for this summer, but rising costs are forcing some off the list of those likely to be funded this year.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is expected to amend an $886,000 capital improvement appropriations measure and cut a dozen roads from a secondary priority list. The ordinance, introduced May 2, gets a public hearing Tuesday.

Funding would include the $755,955 approved in the Road Service Area’s 2006 budget, plus $129,913 in funds within the Capital Projects Fund.

The current ordinance includes two prioritized lists of roads, Group A, which would be let out for bid first, and Group B, which would be let out for bid until the money runs out.

Typically, Group B projects not funded in one year are carried over to the next.

However, in a May 24 memo to the assembly, Roads Director Gary Davis said project costs were coming in higher than originally budgeted. As a result, the Road Service Area Board voted May 10 to truncate the two lists, moving one A list project, Hutler Road near Homer, to the B list, but eliminating a dozen others from the B list altogether.

As proposed now by the road service area board, the project lists would look like this if the assembly adopts the amendment. (Some projects include more than one road because they are contiguous).

Group A:

· Jim Dahler Road and Arrowhead Avenue (Sterling)

· Yukon Street and Saber Avenue (Homer)

· Grouse Creek Bridge (Seward)

· LaCross Way (Soldotna)

· Brewer Road, Mallette Avenue, and Auburn Court (Kasilof)

Group B:

· Hutler Road (Homer)

Road projects currently on the B list that would be removed from the list if the assembly accepts the amendment include:

· Rounds Road, Charlie’s Way, and Koehler Avenue (North Kenai)

· Thunder Road and Galankin Street (North Kenai)

· Charlie’s Way and Karen Avenue (North Kenai)

· Foster Avenue, Walker Street and Lopez Avenue (Sterling)

· Juel Avenue, Kenaitze Avenue and Nielson Street (Kasilof)

· Raven Lane and Eagle Lane (Seward)

· Palmer Street and Crossman Ridge (Homer)

· Ron’s Avenue, Eddie’s Way, Jasper Lane, and Lynn Court (Nikiski)

· Moat Way, Excalibur Way, and Camelot Drive (Seward)

· Fairway Avenue (Kasilof)

· Spruce Creek Bridge (Lowell Point, Seward)

· Kasilof River Road (Kasilof)

The rising cost of fuel has contributed to the need to shave the list, but that’s not the only factor, Davis said. Many of the projects are more extensive in nature than mere maintenance. For instance, Davis said, some projects involve relocating roadbeds properly in their rights of way.

“Sometimes the roads are located quite a ways outside the rights of way, so we have to cut a new right of way,” he said.

That turns simple gravel overlay jobs into bigger projects involving surveying, excavating and building roadbed.

“They’re more extensive than they have been in the past,” Davis said.

There will be enough money for all Group A projects and Hutler Road, Davis said.



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