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Manager's Corner: Waterfront projects and Dillingham roads

Tyler Thompson

Spring 2020 will be a busy time in Dillingham. With a slew of projects coming up, City Manager Tod Laron provides updates to the waterfront property and roads' projects.

It’s officially fall in Dillingham, and the city is gearing up for all the projects slated to hit next spring. In this edition of Manager’s Corner, KDLG’s Tyler Thompson sat down with City Manager Tod Larson to discuss the waterfront property and the downtown roads.


Tyler Thompson: Okey doke! So yeah, we gotta few things to talk about today. To start us off – harbor property cleanup. Where is that clean up at?

Tod Larson: There’s a couple sections. There’s a couple large piles right in the middle of the property that’s been gone through. There’s some areas we have to keep separated because of hazardous materials.

Thompson: What kind of hazardous materials are in there?

Larson: As you could typically imagine from working on boats and vehicles over the years – - - there’s a lot of oils and a lot of fluids. And there’s some things we don’t know that we can’t identify. We’re gathering that stuff up in one place and getting help from hazardous material folks to identify and dispose of that properly.

Thompson: Who’s going to be helping out with that?

Larson: Right now we’re not sure. We’re applying for the Brownfield grant through the EPA. Then we’ll go out and find someone to assist with the cleanup effort.

Thompson: And then you have listed here, that you guys are working to beat the winter.

Larson: Oh yeah, it’s what got us last year. We were just getting ready to clean that up and we had a snowstorm. Before you know it everything is froze down. So we just want to get that area picked up before we get that freezing weather.

Thompson: I talked to McDowell Group previously when they first came out here to look at the property and look at the waterfront project and see all the stuff they want to do. Has anything new come came out since they first visited ? Aas far as what you want to do with that property?

Larson: They were out here, they talked to quite a few people in the community. We have received a draft of their comments. We were able to see some of the stuff they looked at so we’re going through the process of answering some questions for them and then we’ll send it back for a final.

Thompson: Well great. Is there anything else about the harbor property cleanup that you’d like to touch on?

Larson: Yeah I would. Dagen Nelson and his boys did a heck of a job. They worked hard and I just want to tell them I appreciate it. Great effort, it looks better already and I’m looking forward to the next phases. But I want to make sure those folks get mentioned here because they did work really hard.

Thompson: Absolutely. So next up is the Dillingham city projects update. What is the current status? What’s going on there?

Larson: Let’s talk streets here. The state of Alaska did put out the downtown project for bid and our local JJC was a successful bidder on that. And JJC was also a successful bidder on the city streets so they have both of the street projects in town. It was just given to JJC last week and we’re going to be working through some of the initial phases. We’re already speaking with JJC about the timeline. They have a pile of permits to get into the state and do a lot of that stuff before they start working.

Thompson: For sure.The goal is to have it completed by next fall?

Larson: Yes.

Thompson: Okay, do you think anything is will happen before the year is out in regards to those projects?.

Larson: We’re talking about that right now. JJC – Chris Meng – we’ve been working with him pretty close. There’s also a third project JJC received that’s really connected. There’s some downtown water improvements that need to get done: pipes; some fire hydrants; new water shutoffs; those kind of things. So he’s looking at the whole scope of that. It’s again – , we’re racing winter and you can’t really do much work when the ground’s frozen. We’re kind of looking at that right now and everyone’s chomping at the bit to get started. But I’m not sure we’ll be able to get started this fall if not. First chance he gets he’ll be digging holes in the spring. But you know it is going to be kind of a mess downtown next year. Through spring and all of September – I’m not sure how long it was last. But we’re starting early to ask people please just have patience. Traffic will be able to get through – they’re going to figure a way to get traffic through. It is kind of a small area and all the roads are going to be repaired – including some deep pipes. As we go along, just have patience because the end result is going to be incredible. It’s going to be a facelift for our town.

Thompson: Amazing. Well thanks Tod, thanks for coming down.

Larson: Yeah, thank you. 


Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200

Tyler Thompson
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