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Caution: Delays ahead

Seasonal road construction projects drive into fall

Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

  Kevin Clark gives direction to a dump truck driver Tuesday afternoon while spreading asphalt for a new trail associated with improvements to the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski. Screed hand Henry Sydnam works behind Clark. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Kevin Clark gives direction to a dump truck driver Tuesday afternoon while spreading asphalt for a new trail associated with improvements to the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski. Screed hand Henry Sydnam works behind Clark.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Motorists can expect some delays along the Kenai Spur Highway through September as a five-mile stretch between Kenai and Soldotna is re-paved.

North Star Paving and Construction Inc. is to begin re-paving from Mile 3 to 8 around Sept. 1, and the job should be completed around Sept. 30, according to General Manager Ken Griner.

Traffic delays during the repaving process would not be major, likely amounting to three or four minutes at the most, Griner said.

North Star was awarded the $1.78 million state road contract July 25, the result of legislative action last spring, but the repaving project is only a temporary fix.

A project to turn the highway into a four-lane road also received funding during the past legislative session and will be designed and put out to contract within the next two years, Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, said in a press release this week.

"The Spur road is heavily used. It's the major artery be-tween the two largest communities on the Kenai Peninsula. Because it is mostly local traffic, this was truly a local benefit," he said.

Wagoner noted he and Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna, heard a lot of complaints last winter as the five-mile section of highway deteriorated.

"I certainly heard from a lot of constituents about this road and worked with the Department of Transportation to determine both a short- and long-term fix," Olson said.

The repaving project be-tween Kenai and Soldotna isn't the only project under way on the Spur.

Crews also are working to widen and pave the highway from Mile 22 to 29 near Nikiski, adding left-turn pockets and a separated bike path. It is expected that job will be completed around mid-September, said Todd Vanhove, Kenai area planner for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Elsewhere on the peninsula, drivers are contending with occasional stop-and-go traffic in downtown Soldotna as a new bridge across the Kenai River is constructed.

In Homer, reconstruction of East End Road between Mile 0 at Lake Street and Mile 3.75 at the intersection with Kachemak Drive is nearly complete.

That job includes construction of a separated bike path. A project to reconstruct East End Road from Kachemak Drive to McNeil Canyon at Mile 12.2 is in the design phase.

Vanhove also noted several other projects on the eastern side of the peninsula that are either under way or that might be started before the end of this construction season.

Highway crews are expected to begin work soon on the Seward Highway from Mile 0 to 8, and the 5.3-mile length of Seward's Nash Road is to be resurfaced by October.



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