A construction crew excavates along the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, Alaska on June 4, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

A construction crew excavates along the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, Alaska on June 4, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Summer road projects nearing completion

Beaver Loop Road, Sterling Highway undergoing construction.

As the summer winds down and construction season with it, crews with the Alaska Department of Transportation are close to completing several road construction projects across the peninsula.

The DOT, in partnership with QAP construction, is resurfacing all of Beaver Loop Road, from the Kenai Spur Highway to Bridge Access Road. Crews are also constructing new turn lanes as well as a separated pathway. Project work includes installing grading, drainage improvements, illumination, guardrail placement, signing and striping.

From 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, Beaver Loop Road will be closed from Mile 1.4 to the intersection of Cone Avenue and Angler Drive. DOT Project Engineer Jason Baxley said that the closure is primarily for safety reasons, as crews will be excavating between 8- to 12-feet deep along the road while installing pipes and culverts.

Baxley said that there will likely be at least two more closures during construction, but they won’t happen until after Labor Day. The project is ahead of schedule according to Baxley, but a second phase of construction will still be required next year.

Through the rest of August, crews will be building the separated pedestrian pathway, replacing pipe and rebuilding a section of road between Beaver Loop and the Cone Avenue/Angler Drive intersection.

On the Kenai Spur Highway, crews from DOT and Wolverine Construction are building five lanes from Mile 5 to Mile 8 between Sports Lake Road and Swires Road. Crews are also constructing a new pathway, improving drainage, extending slopes and installing new signage and striping.

Currently, crews are working off the roadway from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and motorists should be aware of equipment and vehicles entering and exiting the roadway. There is also an alternate traffic pattern from Mile 6 to Mile 8. Construction is expected to last through the rest of the season, according to the Alaska Navigator website.

Two major projects are taking place along the Sterling Highway, one that stretches from Sterling to Skilak Lake and another from southern Soldotna to Clam Gulch.

From Sterling to Skilak Lake, crews are working between Mile 58 and Mile 63, Monday through Sunday, 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. Delays of up to 15 minutes should be expected for this area. Crews are also working on striping operations starting at Mile 79 and heading north. Delays of up to 10 minutes should be expected for this area.

On Wednesday, crews will be paving at night from Mile 70 to Mile 74 and will cause delays of up to 20 minutes. During the day, crews are working on the highway shoulder, placing topsoil, seeding slopes and watering for dust control. Motorists should watch for crews along the roadway.

Heading south from Soldotna, crews are currently working from Mile 97 to Mile 118. DOT Crew Member Dennis Falldorf said that no more road closures should be expected for this project. Culvert installations are complete, and Falldorf said that the crews are now finishing up with grading and pavement work. The northbound lane is expected to be paved by the end of the week, and the project is set to be completed by the end of September.

“Everybody hold course and we’ll be out of here soon,” Falldorf said. “And thanks for being so patient with us this summer.”

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