Tuesday, September 10, 2013

UPDATES: Green Screen Mystery, Campbell Creek Under Seward Highway, and Sugar Shack Reopened

Chong Kim is the project engineer in charge of the Seward Highway reconstruction from Tudor to Dowling, which includes the Campbell Creek bike trail.  I'd gone for a bike ride today to keep some hold of my sanity and looked for the DOT office behind the donut shop at Lake Otis and Tudor.

He apologized for not answering my phone call.  I'd left a message asking when the bike path would be done.  He said he was still trying to pin down the contractor before calling me back, but since weather is such a big factor, it's hard to say.  He figures about 2 or 2.5 weeks until it's all done.  By September 30th.  [I'd posted anyway a few days ago with then and now pictures.]

[UPDATE Oct 11:  I've updated with pictures from Oct. 9.  Mr. Kim told me maybe next week.]

In our chat I had a minor revelation.  He looked at the pictures I took last week of the path and he pointed to some hardware connected to the ground and then pointed to some green, transparent fabric on the wall in his office.  They will attach some fencing to that hardware.  Suddenly I had a flash - those strange green screens we'd seen where the Campbell Creek trail goes under Martin Luther King Blvd.  The ones with the images of the skier, biker, and walker.  The screens that we'd shaken our heads over in wonder at who would have put such boring art up.  I made some disparaging comments in a post this summer about a similar (unfinished) screen (below) where the Campbell Creek trail goes under the new bridge at Dowling.  (You used to have to cross the street at this point.)

It turns out these are to keep trail users from being covered with snow by a snow plow clearing the road above them.  Another reminder to myself to not jump to conclusions, but if it's strange, to assume there is something I'm not getting. Am I going to wait next winter to video tape a snow plow at this spot?  Don't hold your breath. 

It all makes sense now.  As it turns out, he said the Feds (EPA and another agency) say they may not plow into the creek anyway from the Seward Highway, but Chong said debris falls from passing vehicles so it's still good to have there. 

A Hopeful Note

I also talked to the office engineer who said, when I wanted to know the date for the bike trail completion, "You and everybody else.  That's the only thing people call to ask about."

I just want to document that piece of feedback about public interest in the bike trails, because I doubt that they are keeping track of that sort of feedback for the DOT administrators or for the legislators in Juneau, some of whom think people who ride bikes are anti-capitalists. 

And finally, the Sugar Shack reopened today.  It's not giant news, but this is a small local business that got trashed by vandals last May.  The thoughtless vandals cost this business almost four months of business and inconvenienced all the people who pass by here and regularly stop for a beverage.


  1. Thank your for this update on the Campbell Creek Bike Trail/New Seward Highway underpass! You are the only reliable source that I have found on this topic. Thank you for going the extra mile to talk with engineers and take photos. Please post more photos as you see more changes take place.

  2. Anon, I do this because I think it's important, but I do appreciate it when readers let me know that they think so too. So a big thanks for your kind comment. I'm out of town so I can't check up, but I will when I get back.


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