Yosemite Drive – Mass Excavation 2017 project

The Yosemite Drive project made the Alaska Star!! 

Affecting everyone from commuters to high school students, major upgrades along Eagle River’s Yosemite Drive are due to be completed by the beginning of the school year.

“That’s the goal, and that looks like it’s really doable,” said Jerry Hanson, a project manager with the Anchorage Public Works Department.

The neighborhood thoroughfare – nearly three-quarters of a mile long – connects Eagle River Road to Eagle River High School and the approximately 200 homes within the Eagle Pointe subdivision. Ongoing renovations along the two-lane road include extra lanes, new curbs and a long median strip near the road’s southern end.

Construction began this spring. The project itself began years prior. After the Anchorage School District built Eagle River High School in 2004, the developer behind the Eagle Pointe subdivision argued that the district was responsible for upgrading the access road, too. The issue dragged in court, and in 2010, the Alaska Supreme Court sided with the developer, obligating the school district to move forward with the road expansion.

Now it’s nearly complete, according to the municipality.

At work on the road are the Anchorage-based general contractor Mass Excavation, Inc., and the civil engineering firm PTS, Inc., which is providing project management services, Hansen said. Yosemite Drive – the only access route to the school and Eagle Pointe – has remained open throughout the construction season, with hundreds of vehicles sharing the narrow, rough dirt road with heavy equipment and a seemingly endless stream of trucks.

Crews are currently focusing on the “curb-to-curb” portion of the project, installing gutters and laying down pavement in preparation for the beginning of the new school year, Hansen said. The curbs around the entrance to the high school are already complete, he said, and project managers hope the bordering pathways are next in line.

Landscaping and other final touches might have to wait until next year, Hansen said, but the bulk of the project is slated for completion by mid-to-late August.

“It’s going really well right now,” Hansen said.

The Anchorage School District school year begins Aug. 21 for students, with teachers due back Aug. 16.