The City of Seward’s Electrical Department is desperate to replace the underground cable that feeds Lowell Point its power. Currently, there is a single 3-wire line feeding power to Lowell Point; only 1 of the 3 legs of that wire is working. Should that last wire fail, all power to Lowell Point would be lost. At first blush, to hear the folks from the Electric Dept. speak of their high level of concern, one might think of them as altruistic, caring so about the power failing for the residents and businesses of Lowell Point. The way the City of Seward has treated us though, begs the question-who are they really doing this for? We all understand how important this project is, but the wanton disregard for the residents, customers, service providers, and vendors of Lowell Point in the planning and scheduling of the project has been a slap in the face. The Public Notice about the Road Closure is anything but considerate or caring, of anyone but themselves. No consideration was given to the elderly resident requiring a constant supply of oxygen, to the school children, to trash collection, or the requirements of several businesses, ours included, that rely on Lowell Point Road for access. As one outraged neighbor pointed out, their interest in getting the job done is more likely self-serving: The City of Seward’s septic pond sits on Lowell Point.
In any event, this work is now being tackled by the City’s Electrical Department. The Public Notice (and small white signs on the Road Closed sign) states that Lowell Point Road will be closed Mon through Sat from 8:00 am to Noon and from 1:00 to 5:00pm. It goes on to state that the work will continue for as long as 2 months and will also include power outages.
Since the Public Notice was first issued we have received some concessions. If the City keeps its word, all things considered, these concessions should keep the project from having much impact on visitors to Lowell Point, and Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, LLC customers.
According to the head of the department, the only time the road closure will really be restricted to 8-12 and 1-5 are the times when the crew is working in a narrow section of the road. There are several spots that are really one lane, but the majority of Lowell Point Road is 2 lanes, and we’ve been promised that when work is occurring in the wider sections of the road, traffic will be allowed to pass. You may have to wait a few minutes, but a little patience should be all that’s necessary.
PLEASE NOTE: They have not funded a flagger or road crew for this project. So, regardless of where they are working, they are going to have the “Road Closed” signs displayed. Those “in the know” will know whether it’s possible to get past, or if it will be necessary to wait for the Noon opening or end of day.
We hope to be “in the know” at all times, and will keep our Twitter feed (subscribe to receive our tweets), Facebook status feed (become a fan to receive notices), and this Blog up to date (search for Travel Alerts to find the most recent post or subscribe to be notified of new posts). We’re also normally just a phone call away.
After the first week, “Classic” is a fitting word to describe the project. They said work would begin on Monday 3/29; but that was an Alaska holiday, so they didn’t work. Tuesday they were not in a narrow section of the road, so many were surprised to discover they could not pass. Crews were trenching across the road, and had failed to mention that as another reason to restrict traffic flow. Wednesday they didn’t work at all because the “vaults” they are installing hadn’t arrived. Thursday they worked part of the day, till the excavator broke down. Friday they started late because they had to repair the excavator. Then, even though it was Good Friday, they worked till end of day.
Crews are not working Saturdays at this time. They’ve asked to reserve the last 2 Saturdays in April as possible work days, but we won’t know about that till we’re closer in time. If they’re not in a narrow part of the road there should be little impact, even on Saturdays.
There are numerous other options in place to make getting back and forth to town easier should folks need them. There is free parking at the North end of Lowell Point Road and also in the boat harbor. Folks can leave their cars and walk or water taxi, or bike. Although the City has been asked to fund water taxis, at this time all they’ve agreed to do is waive the $3.50 port fee.
We’re hopeful this project will proceed smoothly and disruption to our guests will be minimal. We’re monitoring the situation daily and will help our guests in whatever ways we can to minimize the disruption of schedules. For example, on a day where the closure will be strict, we’ll extend check-out times till Noon. We will also allow early check-ins if possible (this is only possible if the unit was unoccupied the night before).
Regarding the days with power outages, at this time those days are not scheduled. We’ve been told the disruptions will be minimal. We’re hopeful that’s accurate.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this work by the City of Seward may cause our guests, visitors, staff, suppliers, and vendors. Please don’t hesitate contacting us for up to date information!