Friday, August 24, 2007

We've worked 20 years for a bike path, and now this?

Word reached me today of a classic construction-company scandal brewing with regard to the Ester-Fairbanks bike path. It seems, per my anonymous source, that the construction company redoing the segment of highway between Ester and Fairbanks ran out of their allotment of D1 gravel, the nice small stuff that they put as the last layer under the asphalt to make the road flexible and difficult for willows and frost heaves to break up the pavement. So, their plan is to use an inferior grade of gravel called borrow, with no D1 gravel, and less pavement on top (only two inches). This will save them $70,000 but will mean that the bike path will start falling apart in two years.

Ester hasn't been working for the last two decades on getting this bike path just so we could get a crappy path that will crumble from shoddy workmanship in two years! This kind of inferior construction will make the path dangerous.

What's worse is that DOT apparently plans to sign off on this cruddy bit of planned obsolescence.

The one part that they already paved and used as a temporary bypass, the part between Gold Hill and Lost Lane, has six inches of asphalt and nice extra thick padding with D1 gravel, so at least that part will be in good shape.

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If anyone has further information on this, please contact me right away. I may publish an extra Extra on it.

Some people to contact:

Joe Thomas:
David Guttenberg:
DOT project engineer: 451-5483

The project is known as PARKS HIGHWAY MP 351-356 REHABILITATION, Project# / Federal#: 66438 / AC-IM-0A4-5(13).

Raise holy hell, folks. We need to find out what's going on and make sure we aren't getting shortchanged.

I'll post more information as I find out more about it.

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