The Auke Bay roundabout is supposed to be done by the end of the week.
“Almost over,” project manager Dan Noziska says with a laugh.
The Alaska Department of Transportation engineer says the public has not been shy in commenting on the very visible project.
“It was hard to take a T-intersection and turn it into this roundabout. It’s kind of like remodeling your house. You’re living in it and still have to live with the mess,” he says.
Work began on the traffic circle last July, and was supposed to have been done before winter started. But the project required a lot of fill material and in September it was discovered the soil in the area probably couldn’t handle the fill without settling.
“That issue was not discovered until we starting construction and it should have been during design, and then the whole project schedule would have revolved around that, because you have to let the material settle,” he says.
So DOT delayed the project to give the fill material time to settle.
“And lo and behold it didn’t really settle, but some of the projections by our geotechnical people were that it could have settled,” he says. “If that had been the case that would have been a worse situation to spend all that money to build that concrete circle and curb and gutter, and then have the thing settle.”
Noziska says the current contract with Miller Construction called for completing the roadway part of the project on July 15, but that’s been pushed to Friday.
“There still may be some signing and things like that, and painting, but the pavement itself should all be down,” he says. At least “that’s what the goal is.”
Noziska knows motorists will be relieved.
The state-funded project, from acquiring right-of-way to completion, will total nearly $8 million, about $1 million over estimates, Noziska says. Contractor Miller Construction Co. was awarded $5.032 million for construction.
- “Part of this funding is set aside to address the needs that the president saw firsthand when he visited coastal communities in Alaska that are seeing their homelands eroding into the ocean at a rapid pace," said Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor.
- Gastineau Humane Society called the dog aggressive and not a viable candidate for adoption. The Juneau couple wishes they’d been notified before the dog was put down.
- Dan Henry, also operator of the Skagway Fish Co., said he would make a decision about his future with the Skagway Borough Assembly after he returns home.
- Musher Seth Barnes said early Monday that the last 100 miles of trail coming north to Circle "literally was perfect ... definitely the best trail I’ve been on all year.” His dogs had trained on gravel most of the winter.