Petersburg motorists, walkers and cyclists can expect more road and sidewalk construction work on two important thoroughfares this year and next year. The state Department of Transportation is planning rehabilitation and reconstruction projects for pavement and concrete on both Haugen Drive and South Nordic Drive. DOT representatives are in town this week to present the plans to the public.

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New pavement, sidewalks and drainage on South Nordic Drive will be the first project planned to start later this year. That construction will happen between Haugen Drive and the ferry terminal.
A second project will see roadway resurfacing and sidewalk extensions for Haugen Drive. Keith Karpstein is the DOT’s project manager. “We’re just yeah gonna come down, present the two projects, give the public the opportunity to ask questions. And if you live adjacent to Nordic Drive and Haugen Drive, it’d be a good opportunity to come ask specific questions on what we might be doing directly in front of your home.”

Karpstein says there’s a good possibility the two projects will be going on at the same time in 2015. However, the work on South Nordic Drive is expected to start first. “We anticipate the sidewalk and curb and gutter work will take place over the summer of 2014. Also the city’s got some utility work that’s gonna be included in our project. So we’ll most likely get that done this summer. And then paving probably will follow in the 2015 season. Haugen Drive is a few months behind Nordic Drive but there is a chance that some of the concrete work would get started late summer early fall and then with pavement to follow the season of 2015.”

Karpstein says there certainly will be impacts to vehicle traffic during paving in 2015. He says construction will be staged to allow traffic to get through during the work.

One problem area the South Nordic Drive work should address is the potholed bridge over Hammer Slough. “So what we’re gonna do on the Hammer Slough bridge is completely remove all the pavement that’s on top of that bridge. We’re going to lay down a new waterproofing membrane that’ll go on the concrete deck. Then we’re gonna put a new surface of pavement, three-inch section of pavement on top of the bridge. So currently there’s two inches of pavement there and as you know it’s pretty beat up and broken and the underlying bridge deck is exposed. So with the new waterproofing membrane and a thicker pavement section, that’ll certainly clean that up.”

That project will mean new pavement and new sidewalks from downtown out to the ferry terminal. The borough is also redoing a sewer pipe in that area at the same time.

Meanwhile, the Haugen Drive work will mean new pavement and sidewalks from downtown up to Eighth Street. The sidewalks will also be extended up to 12th street on one side, and to the existing bike path on the other. The project also includes resurfacing the pavement from the airport to Sandy Beach. It may include an extension of the existing bikepath past the airport.

“The one thing that we haven’t made the final determination on is the inclusion of the bike path or the shared use path from the airport to Sandy Beach Road. Currently we don’t have the funding to include that portion of the project. So that may or may not be included in the project depending on where we end up with the funding.”

One item that is in the project is a crosswalk on Haugen Drive at Second Street near the new library. That’s been a community concern and frequent topic of discussion for the local public safety board. “So we did get comments from both the community and the borough and we determined that it was a good addition to the project and certainly we recognized the need for it. We did do a pedestrian count last summer that resulted in us making a final determination that a crossing was necessary at that location.”

The state plans to advertise both projects seeking construction companies later this year. They’re both estimated to cost between five and ten million dollars apiece.

The open house is from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, February 11 in borough assembly chambers.