Jun 18 2008
Lane Dividers Block Business Access
Wednesday, 18 June 2008


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            Cement medians laid down this week in the middle of Rezanof Drive between The Y and Marine Way has taken motorists and some business owners in the area by surprise. The barriers are meant to restrict left-hand turns in the city’s busiest traffic bottleneck.

            Jason Baxley is the manager of the project for the Alaska Department of Transportation:

--            (Traffic 1                   17 sec                          “… rear-end collisions, things like that.”)

            The Island Hydraulics Building is right in the middle of the stretch where the median divides Rezanof. Kenai Sizzler Burger and Sweeney’s Insurance share the building. John Sweeney said the design took him by surprise:

--            (Traffic 2                   22 sec                          “… once in a while, quite frankly.”)

            Baxley describes how someone coming into town from the west could access those businesses on the other side of the road:

--            (Traffic 3                   30 sec                          “… to access pretty much anywhere down there.”)

            Sweeney says when he first heard of the new traffic pattern, he contacted the D-O-T to see if it could be changed:

--            (Traffic 4                   45 sec                          “… that doesn’t do me any help as it is.”)

            Kodiak City Manager Linda Freed said the D-O-T had made several public presentations on the plans, dating back over five years. She also said the city had offered to take over ownership of the Y and the project, but the D-O-T declined.

            Baxley says the project should cost about 5-million-dollars. It includes new streetlights and a new intelligent traffic light at the Rezanof and Marine intersection that will better modulate traffic and help eliminate back-ups.