Soldotna street upgrades earn award

  • By IAN FOLEY
  • Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:21pm
  • News

After years of planning and implementation, the city of Soldotna has been praised for its street improvements.

Last Saturday, the Alaska Chapter of the American Public Works Association, presented the city with an award for Outstanding Innovative Design for its Binkley Street improvement project.

A plaque honoring the city was presented to project manager Lee Frey during a ceremony at the Petroleum Club of Anchorage.

“It’s exciting to have the honor,” said Soldotna city engineer Kyle Kornelis.

The improvements to Binkley Street were numerous. The 4,800-foot-long street was completely redone, utilities were updated and the sidewalks were widened, according to an email from Frey.

The project, which was completed last October, cost approximately $3.5 million. It was funded through state legislative grants.

“Some people probably don’t remember how bad a shape Binkley Street was,” Frey said. “The paving on the street was deteriorating quite a bit. We’ve heard people commenting on how they like driving on it now, because it wasn’t in good shape before. It hadn’t been paved in over 20 years.”

Frey said the improvements have also benefitted pedestrians.

“It’s a lot nicer for people pushing strollers or walking a dog,” Frey said, referencing the widened sidewalks.

Another noticeable difference to Binkley Street is the addition of several roundabouts.

“We’ve received quite a lot of positive feedback (about the project),” Kornelis said. “We’ve received some negative feedback about the roundabouts specifically.”

While they have been a source of contention, Kornelis said the roundabouts have advantages over normal four-way stops and cost about the same.

“It’s widely recognized that (the roundabouts) are safer and more efficient in the long run,” Kornelis said. “There are certainly some folks who are not pleased with the roundabouts, but over time, we’re seeing more and more people get accustomed to driving through them.”

Kornelis said that the award wasn’t for just one part of the project.

“It’s not focused on the roundabouts,” Kornelis said. “It’s about the project as a whole and a lot of the improvements to the community.”

Kornelis said that while the city was proud of the award, accolades aren’t a source of motivation.

“We’re not building (these projects) to win an award,” Kornelis said. “We’re building them to better our community and fix deficiencies that need to be taken care of.”

Reach Ian Foley at ian.foley@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. With less than two weeks to go before Alaska’s Aug. 16 election, the three candidates seeking to temporarily replace Congressman Don Young in Alaska’s U.S. House seat have made clear their positions on abortion. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Here’s where Alaska’s U.S. House candidates stand on access to abortion

Palin and Begich oppose congressional efforts to guarantee abortion rights, Peltola supports abortion access

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Russian River Campground to be closed until June 2023 beginning next week

Resurfacing and reinforcement work will occur along about 1 mile of the Russian River Campground Road

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Hikers rescued near Cooper Landing

They became trapped in a steep ravine after taking a canoe over Kenai Lake and climbing a mountain, troopers say

Vials of empty monkeypox vaccines sit at a table at Seattle Central College in Seattle, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (Daniel Kim/The Seattle Times via AP)
State announces two-tiered system for monkeypox vaccine

Due to low availability, the monkeypox vaccine is administered only in response to potential exposure

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, leads an informational town hall about ranked choice voting inside the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Carpenter holds forum on ranked choice voting

Don’t “overthink it,” representative says

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River dipnetting closed; Kasilof to close Sunday

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery is reportedly slow, but fish are being caught

Silver salmon hang in the Seward Boat Harbor during the 2018 Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo courtesy of Seward Chamber of Commerce)
Seward Silver Salmon derby runs Aug. 13-21

Last year’s derby featured 1,800 contestants competing across eight days

Rayna Reynolds tends to her cow at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Animals take the stage at 4-H expo

Contestants were judged on the quality of the animal or showmanship of the handler

Emily Matthews and Andy Kowalczyk pose outside the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies headquarters on Friday, July 29, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/Homer News)
AmeriCorps volunteers aid Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

The 10-month commitment pushed them outside of comfort zones

Most Read