Wal-Mart work to restrict Kenai traffic

Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Motorists on the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai will begin seeing a new traffic pattern Wednesday as work progresses on the entrance to the new Wal-Mart store.

Starting at 8 a.m., the highway will be restricted to one lane of travel in each direction from Airport Way east about one-quarter mile past the store entrance under construction.

The lane restrictions are expected to be in place until July 17.

At Marathon Road, the two outside lanes will be the travel lanes, then at the new entrance, the two existing northbound lanes will be the travel lanes. Signs and other devices alerting motorists to the change in traffic pattern will begin near McCollum Road.

During the project, a cement divider will be installed, prohibiting left turns from Marathon Road onto the Spur and prohibiting left turns from the Spur onto Marathon Road. Those changes will be permanent, according to contracting company civil superintendent Matt Kiviaho.

He also said part of the construction project will include installing a traffic signal at the new entrance to the Wal-Mart.

"I don't think that will be activated until closer to the store opening," Kiviaho said. "That's up to (the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.)"

Although an actual date for opening the new superstore is somewhat of a moving target, the latest official word from Wal-Mart is sometime next spring.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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