Construction crews excavate along the side of the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Construction crews excavate along the side of the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Long road ahead

Summer road construction on schedule, but just beginning

The major road construction projects on the peninsula are moving forward on schedule, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be done any time soon. Three major Department of Transportation projects are currently underway, one on the Kenai Spur Highway and two on the Sterling Highway.

On the Kenai Spur Highway from Sports Lake Road to Swire Road, crews are widening the road to five lanes — two in each direction with one passing lane — and installing new culverts. Marcus Forkner, DOT project engineer, said Homer Electric Association, ACS Wireless and GCI wireless are currently removing their underground cables from the area so that crews can continue to excavate along the sides of the road. Delays of no more than 20 minutes should be expected with possible flagging operations in place. Two 12-hour crews are working around the clock to get as much of the work done as possible before July. Forkner said the goal is to avoid delays from increased traffic during the weekend of July 4, as well dip netting season from July 10-31. Completion of the project is currently expected to be at the end of October. The DOT hotline for this project is 907-262-0906, and Wolverine Construction is the contractor for the project.

On the Sterling Highway from Bing’s Landing to Skilak Lake Road, several culverts are being replaced and shoulders are being widened as part of a general rehabilitation project. From Mile 58 to Mile 61, near Jean Lake, crews are currently working 24/7 with flagging operations to be expected. Paving is taking place from Mile 73 to Mile 77, just east of Sterling, with crews working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Drivers should expect flagging and pilot car operations as well as equipment on the roadway. Work for this project is expected to last into October. The DOT Hotline for this project is 1-833-206-4717 and Granite Construction is the contractor for the project.

The third project is taking place on the Sterling Highway from Soldotna to Clam Gulch and involves shoulder widening and culvert installation. Currently there is a detour on Johnson Lake Loop Road in Kasilof as crews install a large-diameter fish passage culvert at Crooked Creek. Jake Goodell, DOT project engineer, said that the fish culvert is about 40% finished and his crews are waiting for the rest of the pieces to be delivered before they can install it. Goodell expects the culvert installation to be finished by the end of June, with the rest of the project being completed by Sept. 31. Crews are working 24 hours a day on the project and Goodell said that drivers should expect single-lane operations for the rest of the summer. The DOT Hotline for this project is 907-262-1042.

More information on DOT projects around the state can be found at www.alaskanavigator.org.

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