City Administrator Mary Leith told the City Council last week that in a conversation with Jason Sakalaskas, maintenance and operations chief for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT) Northern Region that with the increase in trucks proposed by Kinross, DOT should install a traffic signal at the intersection of the Richardson Highway and Nistler Road.
Leith told Council that she told Sakalaskas, “The first thing I would like to recommend is that you put a stop light in where Nistler meets the Richardson.”
Kinross is developing a mine near Tok and is planning to haul ore to its Fort Knox mine to be milled instead of milling the ore onsite. It is anticipated that 192 trucks a day – four per hour in each direction – will be moving the ore through Delta Junction.
According to Leith, Sakalaskas said that DOT is looking into the additional pressures that the Kinross ore trucks will have on the Alaska and Richardson highways. Sakalaskas reportedy said that DOT has already talked quite a bit with Kinross representatives and that DOT plans to attend every one of the meetings that Kinross will be holding with the public. Leith added that Sakalaskas said the Alaska highway system is a public road and according to Sakalaskas, as long as Kinross keeps their loads legal, it is available to them.
She went on to say Sakalaaskas indicated that DOT will be closely monitoring road impact, traffic patterns and using pavement monitoring systems based upon how much funding is available.
Leith quipped, “And to all those people who said that they were going to move out of Delta if we ever got a street light, can just start packing their stuff.”