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Bering Street Construction to Continue

If you live in Nome, you’ve probably noticed that the south end of Bering Street is more of a construction site than a street these days.

The Alaska Department of Transportation is doing what it calls a “rehabilitation” of Bering Street, a project that will be continuing for the rest of summer and into early fall.

According to Bering Street Project Engineer Ulysses Hall, while traffic detouring will continue over the course of the project, the DOT is doing what it can to reduce the effect on Nome residents.

“As we’re advancing up Bering Street doing the work, we plan to attack it in two-block sections so that we can minimize the impact for detouring to just two-block sections rather than the full stretch run.”

– Ulysses Hall, Bering Street Project Engineer, Alaska DOT

Hall explains that the last time this kind of work was done on Bering Street was in 1985.

“It’s obviously showing lots of wear and tear, currently, just prior to our rehabilitation effort of the roadway, but it was pretty impressive that it lasted as long as it did.”

– Ulysses Hall

As for when this kind of work will be necessary again, it likely won’t be any time soon. Hall says the rehabilitated Bering Street is projected to have a service life of twenty years.

And it’s not just the roadway that’s being rehabilitated. The DOT is also doing work underneath Bering Street.

“The DOT is rehabilitating Bering Street, just as part of one of their normal road projects. And we have it in our long term plan to replace the water main within Bering Street. DOT agreed for that work to be added to their highway contract… There’s only one construction project instead of several over several years.”

– Ken Morton, Assistant Manager/Utility Engineer, Nome Joint Utility System

The primary contractor on the project is Knik Construction, which has a long history of projects in the Alaskan Bush.

Once the project is finished, DOT’s Hall says that Nome residents can expect a smoother, more level roadway, and a sidewalk fully compliant with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“All around, it’s gonna be a lot more enjoyable and user-friendly piece of infrastructure.”

– Ulysses Hall

Until the project reaches completion, though, Hall and the DOT appreciate Nome residents “Bering” with the ongoing work.

Image at top: A backhoe loads a dump truck at the corner of Bering and 1st. June 17, 2021. Photo by Sean Milligan.

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Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.