Construction work on Egan Drive is on schedule, but weather still could be a problem, said Soc Kreuzenstein, construction project manager for the state Department of Transportation.
Everything as always is weather-dependent, Kreuzenstein said. The more rain we get, the further theyre going to slip.
Construction workers for Secon have been on the job since mid-July, doing whatever tasks the weather allowed. Theyve completed interim leveling on the section between Sunny Point and the McNugget intersection, and are laying down the final lift, or layer, of paving on the Mendenhall Loop Road toward town.
Additionally, work on the intersection at Mile 2 1/2 is proceeding. The crews are putting in acceleration and deceleration lanes and installing an extension to the large culvert beneath the road.
I would expect that to be complete by next week, Kreuzenstein said.
The culvert is being expanded with left-over pieces from its original construction in 1972. Those pieces served for a short time as a crew shelter on the Juneau Icefield before being pressed back into service. Kreuzenstein said that there is no need for concern over their condition.
Because its an aluminum pipe it wasnt subject to exposure, he said. They only used it for a short period of time.
The pipe was retrieved because it no longer is being manufactured.
Construction work on the Channel Drive intersection, which merges into the main drive on Egan, is part of the long-term construction plan. Under the contract, that portion of the project does not have to be completed until next year.
Depending on work schedule and difficulties, (Secon) may jump onto that this fall, (or Secon) may go ahead and wait, Kreuzenstein said.
Fred Meyer, perhaps the business most affected by the construction project, had no complaints.
I know at times theyve had to reconfigure out there because theyre paving, but I havent had one customer complain about it, said John Bennett, store director. I think the community realized that this is the state doing work on the road; this isnt Fred Meyer trying to make it inconvenient.
The biggest impediment to work so far has been weather.
I think its fairly typical for this time of year, Kreuzenstein said. It was a problem we knew would happen, and its just the timing of the project that we have to work with the weather. Were just hoping we get enough (good) weather to finish.
Kreuzenstein estimated workers would need four days of decent weather to finish the inbound lanes between downtowns 10th Street and the Loop Road, and five to six days to finish the outbound lanes.
That does not include the shoulders, he added.
Drivers generally have been tolerant of inconveniences caused by construction, Kreuzenstein said. One problem is ricocheting gravel that damages windshields. Kreuzenstein said such complaints should be referred to Secon.
The contractors liable under the contract to keep the road in a safe and traversible condition, and any claims should be made to the contractor, Kreuzenstein said.
Secon said that it had received several complaints on the matter, which have not been dealt with yet.