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State transportation experts present Nordic and Haugen construction designs

 

Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

ADOT officials present the North Nordic Drive and Haugen Drive construction plans to community members Tuesday evening.

Alaska Department of Transportation staff outlined future road construction plans for South Nordic Drive and Haugen Drive to Petersburg residents Tuesday night.

The more than $9 million project funded by the Federal Highway Administration will rehabilitate pavement, sidewalks, curbs and gutter on Haugen Drive from where it begins on Nordic Drive up to 8th Street and on Nordic Drive from Haugen to the ferry terminal.

The construction on Nordic Drive will also level out the current steeper slope of driveways along the road in order to comply with Americans with Disability Act (ADA) standards.

"With that improvement it will be necessary to get inside some of your properties to re-grade your driveways to make that transition," said ADOT Project Manager Keith Karpstein.

The design also calls for a reconstruction of the 90 ft. wide south harbor parking entrance.

"That's something that we generally don't like to see on DOT highways," Karpstein said. "What we've proposed is splitting that 90 feet up into an entrance and an exit, separating those with a raised landscape island."

The entrance and exit to the parking area would each be 28 ft. wide.

New features on the Haugen Drive segment include a crosswalk at 2nd and Haugen in order to make foot traffic safer to and from the library. The design eliminates a cross walk at 3rd and Haugen.

The proposal adds a new sidewalk along Haugen Drive from 8th Street to 12th Street and, if increased funding becomes available, a paved path from the airport to Sandy Beach Road.

Karpstein said construction won't begin on Nordic Drive until late this summer and will pick back up in the spring of 2015. The Haugen Drive project will kick off spring 2015. Final paving should be completed before winter of 2015.

Karpstein said there would likely be detour routes as the project progresses although one lane of traffic will be open while work is being done.

Some residents were concerned about bicycle access along Nordic Drive. Dona Laubhan said it's difficult for bicyclists to navigate once they reach the end of the path running along the north end of the Wrangell Narrows.

"How can we make it safer," Laubhan asked. "Once you get to the end of that trail at the ferry terminal you either stay on the sidewalk and go against traffic or you have to cross over sometime when there's not somebody coming."

Karpstein said the project lacks the funding to build a bike path and that parking on one side of the street would likely need to be eliminated to create or extend a bike path. He suggested that a project of that nature would be a borough-facilitated endeavor.

Comments or suggestions related to the project can emailed to keith.karpstein@alaska.gov.

 

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