Road workers repave roads near downtown Juneau on July 29, 2021 as part of the annual task of keeping Juneau’s roads in good condition. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Road workers repave roads near downtown Juneau on July 29, 2021 as part of the annual task of keeping Juneau’s roads in good condition. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Juneau road construction season well underway

Summer in Juneau can smell a lot like hot asphalt.

Long days, occasional sunshine, berries and road construction are all staples of Juneau’s summers — and 2021 was no different.

Road construction, undertaken by both the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and by the City and Borough of Juneau’s roads division has been underway across the city all summer, some wrapping up this year, some of them multi-year projects.

“The downtown paving project just took place. We did most of that work at night,” said transportation department spokesperson Sam Dapcevich in a phone interview. “The Lemon Creek project is being done over two summers. They’re focusing on the segment from the Pioneer Home to Davis Avenue.”

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The project, slated for completion in 2022, is a two-year project, Dapcevich said, though road crews will complete as much as possible this year.

“That project will wrap up the first phase work in October,” Dapcevich said. “They’ll go as long as the weather allows.”

The department is also continuing work on the Douglas Highway, including the Douglas Bridge, Dapcevich said.

“They’ve repaired the bridge and fixed the joints,” Dapcevich said. “This summer’s work will extend just a little ways past Cordova Street, and next summer, they’ll continue on with that.”

Department workers also completed a chip seal project for Engineers Cutoff Road and Mendenhall Peninsula Road, a process to extend the service life of the roads without excessive work.

“It was completed by DOT maintenance and operations crews from around the region. That turned out great. It’s pretty impressive how fast it goes,” Dapcevich said. “It greatly extends the life of a road without having to dig it up and repave.”

The city is also having a productive summer, said John Bohan, the city’s chief capital improvement projects engineer in an email. Projects on Albatross Street, Ferndale Street, North Loop Way, Portage Boulevard, Rosedale Street, and Second Street and Gold Street are complete, Bohan said.

Projects on Capital Avenue, Delta Drive, Goodwin Avenue, Forrest Lane and Mendenhall Boulevard are underway as well. A Crest Street project split between 2021 and 2022 has also not yet commenced. There’s also road segment patching scheduled for a number of locations, Bohan said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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