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Road work progresses

Glacier Highway project to be complete next summer

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Work remains on a stretch of Glacier Highway between Tee and Amalga harbors, but the 6.2 miles of road is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1, 2006.

Even a resurfaced stretch that might look and ride like it is complete will get another two inches of asphalt, said Chris Morrow, director of construction for Southeast Alaska in the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. "We'll finish it next year," he said.

The realignment and resurfacing of about 6.2 miles of road from the Tee Harbor area north of Lena Cove are part of a $9.97 million project awarded by DOT that already has extended municipal water to that part of the city and will improve trail heads and put a kayak launch ramp in past Eagle Beach, said Soc Kreuzenstein, construction project manager for the department's Southeast Region.

The contract calls for the work to be completed by Sept. 1, but he said it could be done sooner. Weather, though, could be a factor in how specific aspects of the work are scheduled. Road work could begin in the middle of April or late in the month.

"All the drainage systems, the culvert pipes, have been installed," Kreuzenstein said. Most of the permits and issues concerning streams and nesting eagles were taken care of last year. Most of the necessary blasting was done last summer. Some remains to be done beyond the turnoff for the Shrine of St. Terese. the holes have already been drilled. Blasting could be done in March.

He said the department is happy with the base that has been completed. If people find it a smooth ride, they should find the completed road smoother still. "It is not a wearing surface, he said. "It will make it through the winter."

After finishing the base for the rest of the project, it will be layered with asphalt to complete the work, Kreuzenstein said.

With less blasting to be done, there should be less need to close the road than there was last summer, he said. During the day, while work is being done on the surface and base of the road, traffic will be reduced to one lane and regulated by flaggers, he said.

"We are expecting two-way traffic when people go home in the evenings," Kreuzenstein said.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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