Kasilof River Road project set for state grant funding

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Flooding in 2002 created a safety hazard along a half-mile long section of the Kasilof River Road.

At its meeting today, the Kenai Peninsula Borough will consider introduction of an ordinance that could help make building a relocated and properly constructed roadbed possible.

Ordinance 2005-19-33 would accept and appropriate a grant of $187,406 from the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to be used to relocate the road. The borough Road Service Area Board applied for the state grant. The ordinance is tentatively set for a public hearing at the Dec. 6 assembly meeting.

Complicating the project is the fact that the road, located almost entirely on the top of the south side of the Kasilof River, has no dedicated right of way and crosses large parcels of public land (the University of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources) as well as land held by a private landowner, according to Grants Manager Bonnie Golden.

"The proposed new road would be located along two section line easements and across a portion of the University of Alaska land," Golden explained to the assembly in an Oct. 20 memo. "The university has given tentative approval to cross a section of its land for this project."

Relocating the road would prevent future erosion problems, Golden said.

Roads Director Gary Davis said the grant money would be enough to get a good start on establishing preliminary costs, but he does not expect it to be enough to actually complete construction of the 2,800 feet of road.

Grant provisions require that what's left of the original road be obliterated, Davis said, thus the decision to run the new road along section lines and across university land once an agreement is reached.

Wiping out the old road was an expense that was not included in the original grant request, Davis said, adding that he anticipates the need for more money.

"There is a possibility of additional grants being available," he said.

The road will be built to borough gravel road standards and will continue to be maintained by the borough.

Reconstruction of Kasilof River Road is expected during the next construction season, Davis said. Once completed, the road will provide an improved route for residents of Taylor and Kasilof West subdivisions.

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