Construction defines this summer season

Last week our colleagues at the Peninsula Clarion ran the above photo with the headline “That time of year.” The photo showed traffic backed up for more than a mile on a stretch of the Kenai Spur Highway that connects Kenai and Soldotna.

We hate to admit it, but the reason for the pileup stumped us for a minute. It’s too early to see traffic backed up like that, we thought. No three-day weekend in sight. The fish aren’t in, yet. And it’s still a little early for summer visitors to slow traffic to a standstill while they photograph a moose.

Then we read the rest of the story: Road crews were sealing cracks in the highway.

Oh, yes — that time of year.

During Monday’s Homer City Council meeting, officials reminded us all: It is, indeed, that time of year. 

Said City Manager Walt Wrede: “We are really going to need a lot of patience this summer and a lot of good humor. There is going to be an awful lot of construction going on in Homer.”

Among the road projects on tap: The state is repaving the Sterling Highway from Anchor Point to Pioneer Avenue. The city has half a dozen or so repaving projects on its to-do list, as well. Over the next two years, $25 million in harbor improvements also is slated.

Plus, Enstar is building out the system to get gas from Anchor Point to Homer and Kachemak City. 

Carey Meyer, the city’s public works director, reminded business and home owners that this is not the season to procrastinate. Now, not later, is the better time to contact Enstar about a gas service line to your home or business. Enstar will host another grilling fair from 10 a.m.-2p.m. Saturday at the Best Western Bidarka Inn. It’s a great time to get your questions answered about the gas project. 

Meyer had this advice on timing for a natural gas hookup: “Don’t wait until they’re trenching in front of your house and business to contact Enstar about the service line connection.”

In other words, make this your mantra this summer: Now, not later. Now, not later.

With all the activity scheduled for the summer, we need to make sure we figure more travel time into our daily rounds. No point in making things worse because we’re in a hurry.

Yes, it will be inconvenient, but it also will be temporary. Instead of being frustrated, we’ll just need to keep the big picture in mind — improved roads, better harbor facilities and cheaper energy.

All that work also means jobs and a lot of economic activity happening in Homer this summer.

It should be a great — busy — summer, especially if Mother Nature decides to warm things up a bit.