A view of Egan Drive where it connects with Main Street on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is in the process of receiving bids for the reconstruction of the road from Main Street to 10th Street. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A view of Egan Drive where it connects with Main Street on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is in the process of receiving bids for the reconstruction of the road from Main Street to 10th Street. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Big downtown road project approaches

Two years of summer construction will confront residents, tourists

The Alaska Department of Transportation has begun accepting bids for a long-delayed project that will bring big changes to downtown Juneau traffic.

At a community meeting Wednesday night, state officials told downtown Juneau residents that a contractor may begin an effort to repave Egan Drive between 10th Street and Main Street as soon as this winter. The project, which will cost between $10 million and $20 million, will last for at least two summer construction seasons and is expected to aggravate tourist-season traffic. According to DOT documents, “impacts (are) unavoidable.”

“Traffic impacts will be unavoidable, but we’ve tried to design the project in a way that minimizes them,” said Aurah Landau, a spokeswoman for the department’s southcoast region.

According to project documents, the effort will widen the roadway and relocate or adjust the flower-filled median “to accommodate the addition of bike lanes and wider sidewalks.” Egan will be widened seaward, and a 1,300-foot-long retaining wall will be constructed along the ocean side to hold the earth in place.

The existing concrete retaining wall beneath the Merchants’ Wharf building will be repaired, and the timber retaining wall beneath the building’s parking lot will be replaced. Gold Creek Bridge will be refurbished, and there will be new utility lines, new storm drains, new traffic signals and new signs for drivers and pedestrians.

According to bid documents, the project is expected to wrap up by fall 2020, but the construction deadline has already slipped by several years.

In 2015, the state said it expected to solicit bids the following year and finish the project by 2018. Last year, DOT preconstruction engineer Pat Carroll told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce that work would begin that year and finish in 2018.

Landau said by phone that the project was delayed for the same reasons that the project is likely to cause traffic headaches: There’s simply not much room between businesses and the highway downtown.

Project managers needed to work with property owners to get construction easements, she said.

“Because the corridor is so constricted, the construction is going to impact those businesses, and we had to work with those businesses and make sure we were minimizing impacts,” she said.

Before construction begins, the department will hold meetings with residents and provide regular construction updates by radio, newspaper and the internet to make sure residents know what parts of the street will be blocked.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 15

Here’s what to expect this week.

Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire
A section of Angoon along the coast is seen on June 14. Angoon was destroyed by the U.S. Navy in 1882; here is where they first pulled up to shore.
Long-awaited U.S. Navy apology for 1882 bombardment will bring healing to Angoon

“How many times has our government apologized to any American Native group?”

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon announced this week she plans to seek a third three-year term. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Mayor Beth Weldon seeking third term amidst personal and political challenges

Low mill rate, more housing cited by lifelong Juneau resident as achievements during past term.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 19, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A king salmon is laid out for inspection by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at the Mike Pusich Douglas Harbor during the Golden North Salmon Derby on Aug. 25, 2019. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Emergency order bans king salmon fishing in many Juneau waters between June 24 and Aug. 31

Alaska Department of Fish and Game says low projected spawning population necessitates restrictions

Three cruise ships are docked along Juneau’s waterfront on the evening on May 10, as a Princess cruise ship on the right is departing the capital city. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Sitka residents join those in Juneau proposing hard caps on cruise ships as tourism grows

Two ballot measures could be presented to local voters in the two Southeast Alaska towns this fall

James Whistler, 8, operates a mini excavator during Gold Rush Days on Saturday, June 17, 2023. People young and old were offered a chance to place tires around traffic cones and other challenges after getting a brief introduction to the excavator. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
There’s good reason to be extra charged up for this year’s Juneau Gold Rush Days

Digital registration for logging/mining competitors new for 32nd annual event this weekend.

Glory Hall Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk points out some of the features of the homeless shelter’s new location a few days before it opens in July of 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire file photo)
Mariya Lovishchuk stepping down after 15 years as executive director of the Glory Hall

Leader who oversaw big changes in Juneau’s homeless programs hopes to continue similar work.

Most Read