A pedestrian walks by City Hall on June 7, 2017. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire File)

A pedestrian walks by City Hall on June 7, 2017. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire File)

Live: Find out the latest about Egan Drive, Centennial Hall and the New Juneau Arts & Culture Center

Live updates from the Public Works Committee meeting

Summary: A new, final scheme for Centennial Hall is being designed, and there should be substantial discussion of it during a June 25 special meeting. There will be work on Egan Drive for much of the foreseeable future that will introduce some new crossings and improved sidewalk to the busy street.

1 p.m.

There will be a New JACC project update 5:30 p.m. June 25, Hale said, and efforts to renovate both Centennial Hall and the New JACC are expected to come up.

12:50 p.m.

“Scheme C probably received the most positive feedback,” Coffee said.

That scheme keeps an independent north entry and an independent south entry for Centennial Hall and a link to the New JACC.

Coffee said another takeaway from the May 30 meeting is that Centennial Hall may not need as much new meeting space as is included in some of the designs.

“We felt like additional meeting spaces, perhaps we don’t need as many additional meeting spaces in Centennial Hall proper if there is a nice link to the New JACC,” Coffee said.

Instead, some money could be used to make street and parking improvements along West Third Avenue.

Coffee said Paul Voelckers, MRV Architects president and architect, is currently working on a final scheme that will incorporate those ideas.

12:40 p.m.

Nathan Coffee, city architect, is introducing potential Centennial Hall improvement schemes.

So far, he’s described the four schemes introduced in a May 30 meeting and previously covered in the Juneau Empire.

[Read our coverage here]

Coffee said all of the designs were drawn up under the assumption that a proposed New Juneau Arts & Culture Center will be built as its been designed.

12:35 p.m.

“We understand this is going to be kind of a long-term project,” said Daniel Jager, Fire Marshal for Capital City Fire/ Rescue.

Jager said CCFR been in contact with DOT and understands how to circumnavigate roads that won’t be accessible during construction.

Assembly members had no additional questions for him.

In between project updates, the committee is discussing potential ways to implement the Juneau Renewable Energy Strategy.

12:30 p.m.

The new pedestrian crossings that will be part of the Egan Drive project — especially the one near the start of the Sea Walk — are “gravely concerning,” said Assembly member Michelle Bonnet Hale.

Bryson agreed since the walk would be in a 40 mph zone, and motorists often drive above the speed limit in that area.

Wilkins said she would pass along the concerns and see what sort of solutions might be possible.

12:25 p.m.

Assembly member Wade Bryson started off questions from the committee.

He asked if the new pedestrian crossings will be the sort with a crossing light.

Wilkins said neither crossing will feature electrified signals and instead will be “zebra” crossings.

12:20 p.m.

“Obviously the big challenge is to keep traffic moving,” Wilkins said. “To keep traffic moving, we are turning off the traffic signal at Whittier.”

She said the traffic signal will remain on for the next couple of days, but will “go dark” within the week.

There will be signs up indicating that left turns aren’t allowed at the intersection of Whittier and Egan, Wilkins said.

12:15 p.m.

“I think we can all agree this project is past due,” Catherine Wilkins, project manager for Southcoast Region Construction for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. “The end result will be a slightly wider road with wider sidewalks and bike paths.”

The project will take about two years to complete, Wilkins said.

Pedestrian crossings at the Sheraton and adjacent to Gold Creek near the Sea Walk are part of the plan.

There will be new lights.

“Between Willoughby and Main Street we will go from four lanes down to three, one lane in each direction with what I call a chicken lane — one lane in the middle,” Wilkins said.

The reason the project is starting between Whittier and Willoughby is because there’s subsurface work needed in the area.

Noon

Today’s City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Public Works and Facilities Committee meeting is going to feature updates on a handful of high-profile public projects.

First up in an Update on work on Egan Drive between 10th Street and Main Street.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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