Two state road and sidewalk rehabilitation projects planned in Petersburg might not start until later this year or next year. The state plans to redo pavement and sidewalks along big portions of Haugen and South Nordic drives.
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Pavement, drainage and sidewalk replacement is planned for about one mile of South Nordic Drive, just south of downtown, between Haugen Drive and the ferry terminal. That work was expected to begin this summer.

KFSK file photo

KFSK file photo

“You know our schedule has slipped a little bit,”said Keith Karpstein, project manager for the Alaska Department of Transportation. “On Nordic Drive we did anticipate that that project would start late summer but we’re still working on trying to clear the right of way. We had quite a few temporary easements to pursue to be able to do that work with replacing the sidewalks. So we’re still working on trying to get that cleared at this point. We’re hoping to get that resolved within the next week or two to where we can certify the project and apply for our construction funding through the federal highways administration.”

Once that happens, the state can advertise the construction contract and seek companies willing to do the job. Karpstein said awarding the contract and getting a company to town will push the start date back into the fall. “So all in all we’re still a few months away from actually having a contractor mobilized to the site to start any work.”

That work is expected to cost anywhere between five and ten million dollars and it’s one of two planned for state-owned roadways in Petersburg. Five to 10 million dollars is also the engineers estimate for road and sidewalk replacement planned for 1-2 miles of Haugen Drive, from downtown up to the airport.

“That project we’re shooting to have it certified by the end of, or more like the mid to end of August, to where we’ll have it to the point where we could apply for the construction funding,” Karpstein said.

He said it’s possible the two contracts could be combined for companies to bid on both at the same time. Both are expected to be going on at the same time in 2015 which will impact vehicle and pedestrian traffic in Petersburg. “At this point it’s looking like the majority of both of those projects will take place next season and when the weather gets good enough to start work in the spring.”

Construction will be staged to allow traffic to get through during the work. The borough is also planning to redo a portion of the sewer line on South Nordic in conjunction with the road work. The state plans include a new driving surface for the potholed Louis Miller bridge over Hammer Slough. The state also hopes to extend the bike path from the airport to Sandy Beach but needs to find additional funding to pay for that portion of the work.