The Ketchikan City Council on Thursday delayed action on a request from the Alaska Department of Transportation to allow crews to work at night next summer on Ketchikan’s downtown roads.
Before the vote, DOT Engineering Manager Chris Goins gave a presentation about the project and answered questions. The plan calls for DOT to do all the sidewalk work on Front, Mill and Stedman streets over the winter months starting this October.
The road work would start in the spring. But, Goins said, because that’s also when Ketchikan’s busy tourism season starts, DOT wants to work nights.
Tim Lewis of Cape Fox Lodge spoke during public comment, and told the Council that the noise of nighttime road construction would negatively affect the hotel, and other hotels along Front, Mill and Stedman streets
“Last month, DOT did a project downtown throughout the night, and it cost us about $1,000. We had to refund rooms due to the noise the trucks make, the lights going off and everything else,” he said. “May is the start of our busy season, so we’d be looking to lose about $15,000 in room revenue a night.”
Lewis asked that the proposed road work happen during the day or not during summer.
Goins said the roadwork must happen during Ketchikan’s warmer, dryer months because otherwise the asphalt won’t cure properly. There was some discussion of doing the noisiest work, which involves grinding down the old road bed, during the off season or earlier in the evenings.
The plan was to start construction work at 8 p.m. most nights, but most cruise passengers are gone by 6, so it could start earlier.
Goins said he’s willing to work with the city to minimize the inconvenience.
Also Thursday, the Council unanimously approved a motion authorizing the city to apply for a federal grant to pay for firefighting equipment and training.