The Beaver Loop culvert project that was initially slated to only last about a month will not hit their goal of opening by July 26.
We spoke with Project Engineer Bill Nelson of William J. Nelson and Associates in Kenai who said progress is being made however he expects the road to be open about a week after July 26.
Nelson: “The contractor has completed the construction of the concrete head walls and the installation of the culvert and the stream which had been diverted to allow construction of the new culvert has been restored to it’s original channel so it’s now flowing through the new culvert and the contractor is now proceeding with back fill and removal of the old culvert.”
As we previously reported, the project’s lane closure permit was extended to August 9, however the contractor, Endries Co. of Soldotna provided the Watershed Forum with plans guaranteeing a finish date of July 26.
Nelson told us that in the original contract Endries Co. had 180 days to complete the project so they are still within those perameters. The only permit exceeded was the time in which to complete the in-water work, which was originally to be done by July 15 and Endries finished that by July 20.
We asked Nelson about the difficulty of the project.
Nelson: “Well it’s a very difficult process to divert the stream and install a culvert at a level below the water level of the stream, and I suppose if you throw enough money at anything you can make it go faster however this was a competitively bid project and so the contractor had limited funds to work with and his schedule was influenced by his budget available and his chosen methods and means of construction.”