Bethel drivers, remember those long traffic lines this summer around the road reconstruction? Buckle up for even more traffic next summer, along with smoother roads. That’s because Knik Construction will finish repaving Bethel’s Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway and Ridgecrest Road in 2020.
Knik Construction repaved a quarter of the roads this past summer and is sceduled to complete the project next year. The project’s funding comes from the Federal Highway Administration and is distributed by the Alaska Department of Transportation. The construction consists of ripping out the asphalt, replacing the base layer beneath the asphalt, and pouring two inches of asphalt on top. The areas Knik repaved this year will remain in place and receive another layer of asphalt in 2020.
The project repaves the road in the same way it was last done in 2007, reconstructing the roads’ surface layer. It does not re-engineer the road to mitigate frost heaves or thawing permafrost. Alaska Department of Transportation spokesperson Shannon McCarthy wrote in an email to KYUK that the department is considering another road project to address those issues. If approved, construction would begin in five or more years.