Road work the price of progress

Posted: Friday, June 26, 2009

Time to take a deep breath.

The state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities hosted an open house in Kasilof this week to inform the public of planned work on the Sterling Highway bridge over the Kasilof River.

Work, scheduled to begin sometime after the July 4 holiday, will neccesitate reducing the bridge to one lane with an 11-foot width restriction.

Work also is slated to begin on the Sterling Highway Resurfacing Project, which will affect 16.7 miles of the highway, from Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna all the way to South Cohoe Loop.

While a DOT spokesperson expects just minor delays while bridge work is being done, those delays could be longer during busy times of day. And the resurfacing project certainly will disrupt many daily commutes when it gets going in late July and August.

Here in Alaska, construction constitutes its own season, along with winter and break-up. While a major project on the Kenai Peninsula's main highway will be an inconvenience this summer, road work is the price of progress.

Look at it this way: all the time spent in traffic delays this summer will be more than made up for with smoother commutes for years to come.

And making sure our bridge leads to somewhere for another 20 years is a good thing.

So, when the orange barrels and cement barriers start going up next month, try not to get too worked up. Take a deep breath, give yourself a few extra minutes, sit back, and try to picture the day this fall when the work is done you'll be able to really enjoy the ride.

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