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Work has begun on an expanded sport fishing park along Channel Drive, although it may be August before anglers are fishing off a new dock.
The $2.5 million project, funded mainly by federal transportation dollars, will include a wheelchair- and van-accessible floating dock just north of Douglas Island Pink and Chum's Gastineau Hatchery.
DIPAC will remove its dock before the new one is installed. The project's completion date is July 31, said Soc Kreuzenstein, the state Department of Transportation's Southeast construction project manager.
The project will include parallel parking for 22 vehicles along Channel Drive, which will be widened with fill and have a sidewalk, a narrow landscaped area and stairs to the beach.
The state bought land a few hundred feet north of the dock and will put in 33 more parking spaces, restrooms and landscaping.
The north lot "is going to take on a park-like atmosphere, similar to the area at Twin Lakes," Kreuzenstein said.
Prime contractor Trucano Construction of Juneau, awarded a $1.75 million construction contract, has a Feb. 20 deadline for the in-water work of dredging and placing piles for the dock, Kreuzenstein said. Work must avoid the outmigration of wild and hatchery salmon.
The finished project will be turned over to the city, which will own and maintain the improvements.