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Cassiar Street redevelopment meeting held


The City and Borough of Wrangell held a workshop meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to discuss plans relevant to the redevelopment of Cassiar Street in downtown.

According to a letter from Wrangell project manager Amber Al-Haddad to landowners in the area, the city held the meeting to inform community residents of the proposed plans for the Cassiar Street Roadway and Utility Improvements project.

“The project will consider a range of improvements for vehicle traffic, emergency vehicle access, parking, pedestrians, and the overall safety concerning street movement,” Al-Haddad’s letter states.

The proposed improvements include the surface upgrade with a hard surface pavement material, for approximately 1,200 linear feet between McKinnon Street and the end of the existing gravel road, and will incorporate storm drain improvements into this area. Additional improvements include a full replacement of the water and sewer utility systems.

“The (city) received a matching grant from the State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation for the replacement of the underground water and sewer infrastructures, as well as adding a storm water collection system,” Al-Haddad said. “This matching grant has been appropriated in an amount up to $565,485 and is expected to cover the costs associated with the utilities’ replacement construction, the construction and grant administrations, and the environmental work required by the granting agency.

Through a previous matching grant received from ADEC, the city contracted with R&M Engineers-Ketchikan Design for the engineering design of the water and sewer replacement, and, according to Al-Haddad, the utility replacement design is complete. 

“These funds also provided for the procurement of the majority of the water and sewer replacement materials, and those materials are currently stored in Wrangell.  This design and procurement project was closed out in July 2011,” she added.

The city has also received a $1 million legislative appropriation from the State of Alaska, Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development for roadway upgrades to the street. The funds are slated to be used to cover the cost of the engineering design for the storm water system and the roadway improvements, and will likely be used as the match for the matching grant from DEC.

According to Al-Haddad, the project will greatly improve Cassiar Street and its usability.

“Cassiar Street has a narrow right-of-way in certain sections of the roadway; therefore, the upgrades will likely concentrate on providing an improved quality of the sub-grade and sub-base foundations, upon which the performance of a pavement depends, creating proper roadway drainage, and constructing an effective and long-lasting pavement system,” Al-Haddad said in an email.

An engineering firm for the roadway improvements design has not yet been selected.


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