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Paving Nerka Drive could start this summer

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Avery Lill, KDLG
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Work to pave Dillingham's Nerka Drive and add a pedestrian pathway could begin as early as summer 2022. Photo taken April 17, 2022.

Nerka Drive is chock-full of potholes, exacerbated by the spring freeze-thaw cycle. It could get a facelift soon.

The Curyung Tribe’s Nerka Roadway Improvements Project has been in the works for eight years, funded through the federal Tribal Transportation Program.

“The goals of the project are to rehabilitate all the roads within the Nerka subdivision,” said Isaac Pearson, senior engineer with Bristol Engineering Services Company, which is under contract with the Curyung Tribe.

He explained at the Dillingham City Council meeting last week that rehabilitation will include, “correcting drainage issues, addressing utility conflicts, adding pedestrian pathways, improving vehicular safety, and then paving all the roads in the subdivision as well.”

The original plan was to wait until the project had funding sufficient to rehabilitate the entire subdivision. However, Pearson said that the tribe recently decided to complete the project in phases, starting with Nerka Drive.

“With the funding that the tribe currently has…, we feel like we can complete Nerka Drive in its entirety,” said Pearson.

Bristol says it is planning a community meeting to discuss the project in April or May.

The goal is to begin construction this summer. Although Pearson said that is dependent on utility coordination, which could push the start date to summer 2023.

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Bristol Engineering Services Company
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In a memo to Dillingham City Council, Isaac Pearson of Bristol Engineering Services Company wrote, "With the available funding we are confident that Nerka Drive can be completed in its entirely and portions of Nerka Loop / Mallard Lane may be constructed as part of an additive bid item...During the public meeting in 2015 the most contention from the public was the Teal Lane Extension, shown on Figure 1 [pictured]. At this time, the Teal Lane Extension is not under consideration for construction."