The intersection at Klatt and Johns Road has been shifted back to the more normal two lane, four way intersection format that we’ll see until Spring, 2017.
We’re seeing considerable changes take place at the intersection of Johns Road and Klatt Road as it undergoes reconstruction, converting it to a roundabout. We’re also seeing considerable changes in the time estimates as to when construction related road closures will take place and when this project will be completed . Per my previous conversations with the Alaska Department of Transportation and QAP (primary contractor), this project was initially scheduled for completion by the end of October, 2016, but is now scheduled for completion by June 30, 2017. Work is currently on hold during winter. Normal traffic will continue with no construction activity again until Spring, 2017. At that time, they currently predict at least another eight weeks of work, including at least three weeks of full intersection closure in order to complete construction by the end of June, 2017.
The project managers I spoke with indicated that there are several causes behind delays moving the projected completion date to the middle of next year. They said delays YTD revolve around the extensive amount of utility relocation, as well as work-limiting rainfall. They also said that extensive concrete work (including retaining walls and the center of the roundabout), as well as application of a high friction asphalt surface treatment cannot be done in cold weather. The asphalt surface friction treatment requires a 30 day above freezing temperature cure time and concrete cannot experience freezing temperatures while curing.
This project had been in a planning phase for the past three years. The contract was awarded to QAP, Quality Asphalt Paving, the same firm that completed the Johns Road upgrade several years ago. Both Klatt and Johns roads are owned by the state, so the Construction Project Manager is Erica Moore with the State Department of Transportation. Work started on June 20, 2016. The initial estimate was that the first six weeks of construction activity would primarily involve relocation of the numerous utilities buried in the area. This required a temporary widening of the southern portion of Klatt Road to allow two-way traffic to continue. The northern side of the roadway was closed in order to allow workers and heavy equipment to bury utilities and bring in landfill. A three week-long, full intersection closure was initially forecast to start in the last week of August, then it was changed to September 6th, but now it’s been changed to SPRING 2017. The State DOT also initially estimated that the northern portion of Johns Road would be closed until the first week of August, but eventually changed that to October 10. It was finally opened as we neared the end of October. The Johns Road closure from Deerfield to Klatt was initially scheduled from 6:00am September 6th to 6:00am September 13, but changed to 8:00pm September 9th to 6:00am September 12th and 6:00am Saturday, September 24th through 6:00am Monday, September 26th. This made for weekend only closures that I think reduced safety issues for School Bus drivers having to alter their routes into more dangerous weekday driving conditions during the initially scheduled weekday closure. Example: Turning north onto the Old Seward Highway from 120th.
The DOT has opened a Klatt Road and Johns Road Roundabout and Improvements Website with promises of weekly project updates, including roadway closure notices. Go to: http://www.alaskanavigator.org/projects/klatt-road-and-johns-road-roundabout-and-improvements to view the latest project updates.