November 10, 2011 |

Upper highway roads next in line for makeover

The Haines Borough is planning for about $750,000 in improvements to upper highway roads, public facilities director Brian Lemcke said this week.

"We’re just in the process now of working up some kind of a limited design that we can come out to bid with, to get as far as we can with that money as far as resurfacing and widening out some of those roads up there," Lemcke said.

Funding would come from $4.5 million in state money for rehabilitation of borough roads secured by state Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Haines. The work would include Riverview Drive at Mosquito Lake, Chilkat Lake Road and Eagle Bluff Drive.

"Chilkat Lake Road has a chip-seal coating on it, but it has some bad areas that we’re going to repair and hopefully re-seal that as well as fix culverts in that road," Lemcke said. "We’re going to widen out Corinna and Eagle Bluff Drive … Over on Riverview, we’re going to put a new gravel surface on that, so it can be more effectively graded."

A bid likely will go to the Haines Borough Assembly for approval in early 2012, he said.

"Hopefully, we can get something bid-ready by right after the first of the year, and get the thing out to bid and the work going as early in the spring or as early in the summer as we can," Lemcke said.

About $1 million of the $4.5 million will go for downtown paving work done last summer, as well as ditching at Sixth Avenue and Dalton Street. As much as $1.5 million more will pay for pavement, storm, gutter and curbing work on Lynnview Avenue and View Street, which will go to bid this winter.

That project’s cost is driven up by the need to import fill and use a fabric membrane beneath the road surface there.

The remainder of the $4.5 million will be spent around Fort Seward, including fixing chronic drainage problems that undermine Totem and Blacksmith streets and Battle Road.

Lemcke said with proper drainage, local roads should last 30 or 40 years instead of 20 and save the borough money over time. "I want us to do better projects instead of bigger projects."

The borough is expecting a federal grant to help pay for planned work on Third Avenue. "We want to do Third Avenue and design work is moving forward on it," Lemcke said.