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Alaska News

Sterling Highway traffic delays expected Thursday for transmission line work

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: September 25, 2019
  • Published September 25, 2019

Drivers on the Sterling Highway could experience “significant delays” Thursday as utility crews continue to respond to damage from the massive Swan Lake fire.

The Homer Electric Association is preparing to drop high-voltage transmission lines between miles 58 and 62.5 of the highway, between Cooper Landing and Sterling, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

The delay will be in the areas where the lines cross the highway near the eastern end of Skilak Lake Road and Upper Jean Lake. Crews will work on the lines from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Swan Lake fire damage and trees on the lines have caused the lines to sag, said Jim Butler, incident management adviser for the Homer Electric Association. "We don’t want them to have an unexpected drop or sagging on the highway that could impact or injure the public using the highway,” he said.

The lines are already out of service — some have been out of service for years — and electrical service will not be interrupted, Butler said.

The Homer Electric Association will work with the state Department of Transportation and troopers to coordinate traffic along the highway.

Just over 100 firefighters continue to fight the 167,164-acre Swan Lake fire, which was 81% contained as of Wednesday evening.