Zimovia renovation: No firm date set


Greg Knight

The renovation of Zimovia Highway from downtown to 13 Mile is expected to begin in the next few months, though no firm start date has been announced.

A scene reminiscent of the road construction on Front Street last year will soon unfold on Zimovia Highway as the Alaska Department of Transportation and SECON Construction begin a renovation project extending from downtown to 13 Mile.

The project will have two parts; the crushing of rock and asphalt production, and the actual laying of roadway and other replacement items.

With a Sept. 15 project end date, SECON is scheduled to begin soon – though no firm date has been set for the start of actual work on the road.

Cole Jensen is an assistant engineer with SECON. He said that while no firm start date has been set, a grinding mill for use on road surfaces should be here soon.

“We’re still a little ways out and we’re estimating having the miller here to complete the first couple of miles by the end of the month or in early July,” Jensen said. “For the first mile, we will be going down five inches and from there, to the 50 mile-per-hour sign, we will go down two inches.”

According to Jensen, the remainder of Zimovia Highway, from the speed limit sign to 13 Mile, will be a two-inch overlay with no milling necessary.

“Out past Shoemaker, where the roads gets pretty rough, we’ll be doing some pre-leveling there with a finer mix of asphalt and just go over the surface of the road.”

Flaggers will be used during the one-month window of surface milling and asphalt sealing to ensure the safety of drivers and workers.

“We’ll have flaggers at the beginning point and end point of any section of roadway we’ll be working on,” Jensen added. “We want to keep the public as safe as possible.”

The renovation will include replacement of culverts, guardrails, waterproof bridge deck membranes, pavement striping, and sign replacement between the start of the project in downtown and the end of the highway. The project will include approximately 33,500 tons of asphalt concrete, 1,975 tons of asphalt cement, and 11,000 long feet of guardrail.

Last week, the Wrangell Planning and Zoning Commission approved a temporary use permit for an asphalt and rock crushing operation to be located in the Woodbury Pit at approximately 9 Mile.

Submitted Photo

This illustration shows the beginning and ending points of the project, which is scheduled for completion by Sept. 15.

The Woodbury site was selected as the source for the rock to be used on the project and the commission approved SECON’s use permit conditional on keeping a 330 foot distance from residential structures, keeping City Hall in the loop if any emission standards are violated, and the use of water trucks or other methods to reduce dust in the area.

SECON won the bid for the project with an estimate of $7,822,574. ASRC Civil Construction and Knik Construction also filed bids on the project.


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