Dillingham-area construction still planned this fall, despite delays

Sep 7, 2017

Suravak Road expected to be paved in September, and the first five miles of Lake Road before fall freeze-up. Some work will start on the Dillingham Airport runway rehab.

Knik Construction is getting a later start than expected, but according to the Dept. of Transportation, is still planning to finish two road projects in Dillingham and Aleknagik.

In an email to Rep. Bryce Edgmon’s office, DOT Legislative Liaison Mike Lesmann wrote that Knik was planning to start the prep work to pave Suravak Road to the Wood River Bridge just after the Labor Day holiday.

Paving should start “as soon as the reconditioning is complete, most likely before the middle of September. We anticipate approximately one week to pave that project, as weather allows,” he wrote.

When Suravak Road is complete, Knik will shift efforts down to the first five miles of Aleknagik Lake Road. According to the project bid, work will include “paving, signing, striping, minor structural section repairs, replacing guardrail, and ditch cleanout” for the five miles between the intersections with Kankanak and Waskey Roads.

“The intent is to mill, recondition and pave the road before freeze-up,” Lesmann reported to Edgmon.

In June, DOT awarded both projects to Knik Construction following their bid of $5.4 million. Knik has also been finishing up a runway rehab in Cold Bay, a project believed to have caused them delays in starting the Dillingham work.

QAP was awarded an $8 million contract to rehab the runway at the Dillingham Airport, which is also planned to get underway this month.

According to DOT, the project will begin by installing a culvert across the south end of the runway by mid-September, which will shorten the runway from 6400’ to 4200’ for five days.

“The shorter runway has been coordinated with the air carriers. A temporary pavement patch will be placed back over the new culvert, and the runway restored to full operational length prior to the seasonal shutdown,” Lesmann wrote.

Next year the entire runway will be resurfaced during the summer, which will cut the landing surface in half width-wise, but not length. Lesmann said flight service, including the passenger jet, should not be interrupted. The project should be completed by the fall freeze-up, 2018.

The Dillingham Downtown Streets project is also now in design, according to DOT. As even a few drops of rain turns the highly trafficked area around the Post Office and bank to a treacherous minefield of potholes, this project is no doubt of more importance to Dillingham residents than the other two.

“Construction is tentatively scheduled for summer of 2018, pending successful resolution of right-of-way issues this fall,” wrote Lessman.

dave@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281