Shannon McCarthy

Reports of icy roads and cars in the ditch over the weekend on the Seward Highway signal the start of the winter driving season on the Kenai Peninsula, and there’s been plenty of buzz about the situation with the closing of DOT’s Silver Tip maintenance yard at the Hope Cutoff.
    Coverage of that stretch of the highway is being split between the Moose Pass and Girdwood DOT yards. There will, however be a significant change in when the road is covered.
    The DOT’s Shannon McCarthy explains that it’s just two hours less coverage a day, but now, it’s all at once.

The final bit of paving on the three-year-long Sterling Highway Rehabilitation Project (near Skilak Loop) is being held up, and managers aren’t sure when they will be able to resume.
At issue is the location of the last section of work, which unfortunately is precisely in the middle of where the Swan Lake Fire jumped the Sterling Highway a week and a half ago.


  It’s Winnebago Time in the Central Kenai Peninsula, and the motorhomes and car campers are multiplying by the day. In an effort to head off any snarls with the normal summer traffic, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has had crews working 12-hours a day, and in some cases, around the clock.

One unscheduled project — replacing pavement and culverts on the North Road damaged by the November 7.1 Cook Inlet earthquake now has a projected completion date, according to DOT spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy.


  A fast break-up this year is causing further delays through the well-travelled Sterling Highway corridor south of Soldotna. Originally scheduled to be closed for a week, the detour — which forces drivers to take Kalifornsky Beach Road — will be extended a second week.

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

  Conditions on the only road on or off the Kenai Peninsula went from bad to worse in the last 24 hours. Berms on the side of the road in Turnagain Pass are reported to be up to six-feet tall, and avalanche danger is also growing.

DOT Spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy called conditions through Turnagain Pass “intense,” and as challenging as they get:

  You know how we all mumble a bit beneath our breath when we see road work ahead and a flagger stopping a long line of cars during road construction season - especially when we’re at the back of the line? Frustrating, yes, and this year it seems to be happening everywhere you turn in the Central Kenai Peninsula. But being glass-half-full kind of people here at public radio, we’re looking for the positive spin, of which there are a surprising number. The most surprising number is: $109 million, which is what’s being spent on state roads in the Central Peninsula.


The lingering late-summer weather has allowed contractors to make good headway on Central Peninsula highway work this month, some of which was suspended during the height of RV Season.

“We’re having incredibly good weather for this additional work. A lot of projects were able to get underway," said DOT spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy in Anchorage.

"But it is real nice to get a jump on it and take advantage of the great weather while the traffic volumes are a little lower.”