The Furrow Creek Drainage Improvements Project has been in the design phase for over a year now. Essentially, we have five undersized Furrow Creek culverts (creek tunnels under roadways) west of the Huffman/Old Seward Roundabout which have contributed to flooding issues in our neighborhood over the years. These culverts are located where 1. Furrow Creek flows under the railroad tracks southwest of the Huffman/Old Seward Roundabout, 2. the north end of Beachcomber Drive, 3. Clippership Court, 4. Mariner Drive and 5. Johns Road, after which the creek continues through Johns Park and empties into the Inlet. The entities with primary jurisdiction over these culverts (using the above numbers) are as follows: Alaska Railroad: culvert #1, Municipality of Anchorage: culvert #’s 2, 3 & 4, State of Alaska: culvert #5. Other agencies potentially involved include Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game, Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation, etc. This makes it even more interesting, requiring coordination of various agencies to achieve a satisfactory conclusion.
The scope of the Municipal project that I am writing about today has expanded somewhat from its initial concept of only replacing the culverts under Mariner Drive and Clippership Court, to including replacement of the culvert at the north end of Beachcomber Drive. The work at Beachcomber Drive also involves working around utilities. This added additional complexity, hence the extended design phase. The Municipality of Anchorage Project Management and Engineering Division is in charge of the project. HDR Alaska, Inc. is the private contractor designing the drainage improvements where Furrow Creek passes under Beachcomber, Clippership and Mariner. Per my recent conversation with a representative of the Municipal Project Management and Engineering Division, they expect to receive a “65% Design Package” from HDR in the next few weeks. The plan is to then review it, make comments and send it back to HDR for final revisions, resulting in production of the “95% Design”. This would then be sent to the MOA Purchasing Department to go out for bids sometime in “late fall, 2013”. The project is funded and work is expected to start and be completed in 2014.
Regarding the remaining two culverts referred to above: The Johns Road culvert is being replaced as part of the Johns Road reconstruction project this summer. Per the roadway project supervisor, the replacement culvert is similar in size to the existing culvert, although it will have a “thaw wire” to prevent freezing. Maintaining similar size was due to “environmental permit” restrictions, so it will be interesting to see how well things work after enlargement of the three culverts upstream. With that said, I am not aware of any current plans to redesign or replace the railroad culvert, which is the furthest upstream of the five referred to in this post. As time goes on, we’ll learn more about the effects of these changes and ultimately what the final improvements entail.
www.furrowcreek.net is the project design/construction website for the Beachcomber/Clippership/Mariner culverts.
Click here to see photos of past neighborhood Furrow Creek flooding issues.