Preparations are underway for the largest paving project on the islands in almost 20 years, Mariah McCooey writes. Highway 16 north of Skidegate to the Eli Tingley bridge just south of Port will be repaved, beginning in early June, as well as most south-end sideroads. The project is expected to cost about $7.5-million.
“The maintenance contractor is already working on the shoulders,” said Brian Twiname, project supervisor, and he expects that the actual paving will begin the first week in June. And if everything goes as planned, it will be all finished by July 15. However, the project is very weather-dependent, he added, and the schedule is subject to change. If there is any water at all on the paving surface, they have to stop.
Mr. Twiname was not sure yet which end they would start at-it depends on how quickly the shoulder construction moves along.
He anticipates they will begin with the main roads, and then move to the side roads, or work on them during ‘inclement weather’ because it’s still possible to pave over gravel when it’s wet.
Side roads on the list include: Lawnhill Rd, Brant Rd, Bitterlich Rd, Beitush Rd, Richardson Rd, and Wiggins Rd. In addition, Mr. Twiname said that their contract includes paving the St. Mary’s pulloff, the Halibut Bight rest area, and the Lawnhill quarry zone.
Commuters can expect a maximum of 20 minutes delay during the paving, he said, and single-lane alternating traffic will be maintained at all times.
Nineteen years ago the highway between Masset and the Tlell River bridge was paved, then a year later the road south was given a temporary ‘seal-coat’ treatment.
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