City: Work will improve downtown safety, aesthetics

Main Street should have asphalt by July 4

Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010

By the time work is completed at the junction of Main Street and Egan Drive downtown, Main Street should be safer and more attractive, a city official has said.

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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

"We're trying to make it easier for people to get across the streets," said city Engineering Director Rorie Watt. "Before, it was a big, wide free-for-all."

Watt said the work currently ongoing on Main Street will go up to just past Second Street and should give those two blocks a look more like Seward and Franklin streets. It will include brick sidewalks between 10 and 12 feet wide, maple trees, and three islands in the street to help pedestrians cross. There will also be turn lanes for drivers entering and exiting the parking garage, covered bike parking and improved crosswalks.

The city is taking the opportunity to replace 30- to 40-year-old utility piping beneath the street.

"It's one of the last streets downtown we haven't redone," Watt said.

The total cost is around $11.5 million, he said.

Coogan Construction began work on the Downtown Transportation Center last summer. Watt said Egan Drive should be repaved by May 5, and Main Street, though not fully complete, should have asphalt by July 4.

The garage is slated to be complete July 1, the transportation center by August 1, and the trail that will lead to a park above the garage by September 1.

• Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or maryc.martin@juneauempire.com.



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