Portions of the Seward Highway will be closed near Moose Pass beginning in mid-July for rock blasting, QAP General Contractors announced in an updated schedule released Tuesday. The work is part of a state project aimed at improving conditions along the road. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18.
The closures were initially expected to start sooner, but were pushed back to delays with mobilizing drill rigs, the company said. Rock excavation with explosive tools, the company said, will occur during those times throughout Sept. 15 of this year. QAP said the company does not expect to need the full duration of closures.
“QAB and (Southeast Roadbuilders) do not anticipate needing the full duration of the closures and will work diligently to reopen a minimum of one lane with a pilot car as soon as it is safe to do so,” the company release said.
In some instances the highway may be closed for all nine hours, the company said, but workers will try to accommodate local traffic. All blasting days are subject to change.
The work is part of the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project, through which the Victor Creek Bridge will be replaced and Snow River bridges will be rehabilitated. The project, expected to be complete in 2024, will also install new grading, drainage, paving signage and striping on the highway.
According to an expected schedule shared by the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, the highway will close at 8 p.m. and crews will perform blasting operations from 8:10 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Crews will work to reopen the highway to single-lane traffic between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with the highway reopened to full capacity sometime between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. The exact time at which the highway will reopen will depend on how quickly crews are able to clean the highway.
Motorists should expect flagging and pilot car operations Sunday nights through Friday mornings, the department said. More information about the project can be found at alaskanavigator.org/projects/seward-highway-mp-17-225-rehabilitation.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at email@example.com.