By DAN FOX
Renovations are coming to a 1.3-mile stretch of State Street between Point Street to the Skagway River Bridge, with potential delays and one-lane traffic expected during the heat of construction.
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) held an open house at the Traditional Council on June 14 to provide information on the upcoming roadwork.
David Pyeatt, ADOT&PF project manager for the State Street rehabilitations, said the work will likely take two seasons to complete.
Ore trucks and tour buses make frequent use of State Street, and Pyeatt said ADOT&PF will not divert those onto Alaska Street or Broadway.
“We don’t want to tear those streets up, they’re not designed to handle that kind of load,” Pyeatt said. “The consequence of that is that on this street [State] we’re going to have one-lane, two-way traffic.”
Construction should be kept to business hours Monday-Friday, with a project goal of avoiding nighttime construction.
Construction personnel were recently in town taking core samples up and down State Street, as part of ADOT&PF’s efforts to design the structural section of the road. Those samples are being processed in Juneau currently; the results of the tests will tell engineers just how much the soil can hold. Poor soil means a thicker asphalt layer; stronger soil means a thinner layer.
Pyeatt noted that the road itself is only one aspect of the project.
“It’s [State Street] a huge pedestrian thoroughfare,” Pyeatt said. “I don’t see a lot of cruise people out there, I see a lot of local people out there, so I understand this road is near and dear.”
Bringing the sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and evening out the walking surfaces are also aspects of the State Street project.
In its entirety, the project will include a resurfacing of State Street pavement; repairing the subgrade beneath the road; replacing and upgrading curb ramps, driveway cuts and sidewalks; installing new signage and road striping; replacing culverts as necessary and replacing the storm drain system.
Before ADOT&PF can step up and take its swing at the rehabilitation, the municipality of Skagway will first go in with a utility replacement project. The borough will replace water and sewer infrastructure, and following that step, ADOT&PF will come through.
The goal is to make it from First Street to Eighth Street in the first season, and tackle the stretch of State Street between Eighth Street and Alaska Street in the second season, according to Pyeatt. Construction is expected to begin in 2018, with total costs sitting around $10.5 million, federally-funded.
Designs for the project were done by R&M Consultants, based out of Anchorage.