Major repairs to Egan Drive will begin soon.
``It's my understanding that they're going to start it either late this week or early next week, though they won't be starting on Egan Drive paving first,'' said Chuck Correa, regional construction chief for the state Department of Transportation.
Construction efforts will include resurfacing a large section of the Egan highway and reconfiguring several intersections. The intersection work will start first.
Measures are being taken to avoid inconveniencing drivers. Southbound lanes will not be paved in the mornings; northbound lanes will not be paved in the afternoons.
``The impacts to the peak hour traffic in the normal direction will be minimal,'' Correa said.
The contractor for the project is Secon. The original contract amount for the work is $5.576 million; weather permitting, work on Egan should be completed by Sept. 15.
``The contract requires the Egan Drive overlay portion of this project to be completed by this fall, but it also allows other work on the project -- including the repaving of Lemon Road -- that can be done by early next summer,'' Correa said.
Egan's driving lanes were last paved in 1995.
``It was pretty badly rutted when we started last time,'' Correa said. ``In order to level out the ruts, we had to grind down first. This time the strategy is to build up rather than grind down.''
However, grinding down will be necessary on Lemon Road and some of the intersections. Salmon Creek, 2.5 mile and the Channel Drive intersection near the Gastineau Hatchery are also being reworked to smooth the flow of traffic.
The most likely delay to the process will be Juneau's unpredictable weather.
``The paving is a weather-dependent thing,'' Correa said. ``When the weather's rainy, they'll switch over and work on intersections and when the weather is good, they'll be out there paving.''
Correa advised that drivers pay attention to signs, flaggers and announcements about the construction.
``In general, there will be one lane open in the direction that they're working in,'' he said. ``When the weather is decent, there's going to be activity somewhere on Egan Drive.''