Workers bolster highway near mine

Posted: Thursday, September 06, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Workers should be finished by the end of the month filling a 95-foot hole that the state believes is causing a section of the Parks Highway just east of Ester to crack and slide.

The repair work is the result of a July agreement between the owners of the Yellow Eagle Mining Co., which dug the hole, and the Department of Transportation.

Once the hole is filled, workers will temporarily repair the road for winter and wait until next year to repave it, a DOT official said.

''We anticipate ongoing maintenance problems for many years as it settles and comes to some equilibrium,'' said John Ryer, DOT construction project manager.

The hole has caused a 300-foot section of the highway to settle and shift toward the pit in the last two years, the state said. The resulting cracks have been repaired many times since then, DOT officials said.

Exclusive Landscaping, a North Pole contractor, won the job with a low bid of about $1.5 million.

The road, which will be dug out and refilled temporarily for the winter, is considered safe, he said.

''If it was unsafe, we would have closed the road and built a detour,'' he said.

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