May traditionally signals the beginning of summer construction, including projects statewide to improve or construct roads, bridges, and the affiliated infrastructure. Road projects can take years to design and permit and are generally well-known to the public long before construction begins. This year construction in Alaska may deviate from that slightly because of the anticipation that as the frozen earth thaws, further damage from the November 30, 2018, earthquake may be become apparent. Also, some emergency repairs made at that time were temporary and will require additional work.
For now, the following is a selection of plans that are moving forward for road and bridge construction this summer and fall for projects that have taken the more well-worn project development path.
In Anchorage in the vicinity of East 40th Avenue and Loon Cove Circle, R&M Consultants developed the civil design to correct drainage inadequacies causing flooding. The construction estimate for the project is less than $1 million for 5 miles of roadway improvements and 1 mile of new pedestrian pathway, as well as improvements including storm drain pipe, manhole, open ditch, and landscaping elements. The Municipality of Anchorage Project Management & Engineering project is slated to begin construction this month and wrap up by August.
The intersection of Danby Street and Wembley Avenue in Fairbanks is being updated this year; the Danby-Wembley Roundabout design was developed by R&M. The engineering firm also prepared final bid documents for the project, which will include construction of a multi-lane roundabout to reduce angle crashes and accommodate oversize/overweight truck traffic. The design cost is $1.16 million and construction is coming in at an estimated $4.4 million. General contractor Exclusive Paving is scheduled to begin construction this spring and end construction in August.
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) aims to improve safety and service for the first 12 miles of the Elliott Highway with the Elliott Highway MP 1 to MP 12 Rehabilitation project, which started construction in June 2018. Construction work will continue this summer and is slated for completion by the end of October. The cost of construction for this project is just under $25 million. According to DOT&PF, "notable traffic impacts" during construction this year include diversions at MP 11 and only one lane being open on the Chatanika River Bridge...