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Illinois Street acceleration effort adds $1.1 million to project

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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:31 pm | Updated: 11:30 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The acceleration of the Illinois Street reconstruction project and a change in the Noyes Slough bridge plan are expected to add more than $1.1 million to the cost of the project.

The Fairbanks Metropolitan Area Transportation System received an update on the schedule Wednesday morning. The section from near Minnie Street to First Avenue is expected to open in November on a major rebuilding job now estimated at $23.5 million.

Steve Titus, director of the northern region for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said the state has worked with HC Contractors to minimize traffic disruption during the next year and reduce the level of inconvenience.

To do that, the state has added $703,000 to the contract as a change order, which is an agreement for a new timetable.

Of the additional amount, $292,000 is for expedited shipping of signal poles, $37,000 is for expedited shipping of completed poles, $94,000 is for additional labor from an electrical subcontractor and $219,000 is for HC speeding up the job, including extra labor.

Another significant change in the schedule includes a new plan for the Noyes Slough bridge on Illinois Street that will not require a six-month road closure at that point. The state proposed a change order of almost $464,000, and the contractor has a plan to keep the old bridge open to one-way traffic while building the new bridge just upstream on the slough.

Most of that work is expected to take place in 2013, with the portion of the street from near Minnie Street to College Road due to open next fall.

Starting this fall, the Cushman Street bridge will be one-way northbound, while the new Barnette Street bridge will be one-way southbound, with traffic proceeding as normal to Minnie Street.

•••

JOHANSEN ACCESS: The city expects to seek bids shortly on the plan to build a new route connecting the road behind Sam’s Club with the box stores on the other side of the tracks. The project, with roundabouts and other improvements, is expected to be built next spring and summer.

•••

GOLD HILL PROJECT: The borough Planning Commission endorsed a state highway plan Tuesday to expand the shoulders on Gold Hill Road to 4 feet and repave the road.

•••

PIPELINE REUNION: People who built the trans-Alaska oil pipeline are hosting a 35th anniversary celebration at 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. President Tom Barrett is among those scheduled to speak at the event sponsored by the Alaska Pipeline Builders Association and the Alaska Industry Support Alliance.

Film archivist Dirk Tordoff will offer a 20-minute slide presentation on the construction era.

Anyone who worked on the pipeline is invited and encouraged to email Jim Plaquet at JPlaquet@alaskaalliance.com. The reunion reception is free.

Earlier that day, the alliance is sponsoring a day-long event called “Pump Fiction: What’s the Truth about Fueling our Future?” with various speakers addressing public policy questions about the future of oil and gas development and mining in Alaska. Registration for the forum is $100.

•••

PIONEERS’ HOME: Just a reminder that the annual Pioneers’ Home Foundation Art Walk is set for 6 p.m. Friday at the Pioneers’ Home.

In listing the board members the other day, I neglected to mention the president of the 16-person board. Virginia Farmier has been a key volunteer for the foundation for many years.

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