While actual construction work for the planned South Tongass Highway rehabilitation project isn’t scheduled to start until next year, drivers may have noticed a big machine punching holes in the road.

According to DOT spokeswoman Meadow Bailey, that is a DOT consultant completing geotechnical investigation work to prepare for that project.

The project will involve the roadway between Deermount and Surf Street. The first construction phase will be Saxman to Surf Street, and that is set for 2018; the second phase from Saxman to Deermount is scheduled for 2019, according to the DOT website.