Construction vs Maintenance

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaska Department of Transportation work sites can popup just about anywhere, including in front of a residence. A DOT crew has a project on the outskirts of Fairbanks, paving a portion of Spinach Creek Road off of Murphy Dome. Monday they were packing down dirt in preparation for laying down asphalt.,which is scheduled to start Wednesday, June 26th. They will begin by paving downhill and then uphill the following day. Alaska DOT Spokesperson Caitlin Frye says this is not a construction project

"This is a maintenance project," said Caitlin Frye. "That means that our in house DOT maintenance crews are the ones who are doing the work. That’s true for most of our maintenance projects but not all of them."

Maintenance projects are also shorter, with some lasting mere hours. On top of paving, these projects include bridge work, filling pot holes, culvert drainage inspections, and sealing cracks in the road to prevent water damage. Although construction and a maintenance projects seem to look similar from the outside, they serve different purposes. Spokesperson Caitlin Frye says these smaller residential projects, while inconvenient for residents, help prevent major construction on smaller roads.

For this project, residents of Spinach Creek will see 2 hour delay signs. That is how long it takes the asphalt to cool to the point where it can be driven on. Driveways along the project will be closed while it is being paved, the only exception being emergency services.

"We will always let emergency services through," began Frye; "and that includes even when we have an asphalt mat. We try to do our best to work with residents when we doing these neighborhood projects like this. If you have any questions, please give us a call."

Caitlin Frye says it's harder to get details on these smaller maintenance projects. People can call the DOT office at 451- 5307 for more information.