Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Learn about fish passage project, upgrades on

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Thursday, March 18, 2010

MAT-SU— Meet with project managers next week, Wed. March 24, 7 p.m., to learn more about a summer project on Engstrom Road. The project will upgrade a culvert for fish passage and flood management. The road work will improve alignment and sight distance on a curvy road with many dips. The construction will temporarily close the road for about three days in June.

EngstromroadThe Engstrom Road public meeting will be at the Cottonwood Public Safety Building near the intersection of the Palmer Wasilla Highway & Seward Meridian Parkway. MAT-SU Borough Public Works staff and representatives of Alaska Rim Engineering and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will provide a project presentation. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been invited to answer resource questions. The presentation will include project details such as road realignment drawings, the new stream crossing at Cornelius Lake, the proposed project schedule and impacts on the traveling public. Public input is necessary and encouraged. More than 1,000 vehicles per day travel this part of the road. During construction these commuters will be able to travel Hart Lake Loop as a detour.

The beginning of the $ 950,000 construction project is at the intersection of Engstrom Road and Bogard Road. The end of the project is approximately 300 feet north of the intersection at Settlement Ave.

A $100,000 Stimulus grant was awarded to help pay for the culvert replacement. The culvert is not embedded properly in Cottonwood Creek and is too small to allow ideal fish passage from Niklason Lake to Cornelius Lake. In 2004, the Public Works Department replaced the blocked culvert upstream at the inflow to Cornelius Lake. This project will significantly improve the crossing at Engstrom Road and open hundreds of acres of stream and habitat to migrating fish.

This culvert upgrade will be the 55th replaced culvert in the MAT-SU Borough's nationally acclaimed fish passage program.

A grant from the Alaska Dept. of Commerce and Economic Development is paying for most of the project. Local road service area funds and dust control funds are contributing.

The project is expected to be under construction from June 1 to Aug. 15.
Please direct road project questions to Jim Rowland, Project Manager at 745-9811 and stream crossing items to Chuck Kaucic, Project Manager 745-9807.

Photo of culvert at Engstrom Road by MAT-SU Borough. Notice the fish on the left hand side of image.