The city had planned to re-open Green Lake road to pedestrian traffic this weekend, but weather hampered repair work. Both Green and Blue Lake roads remain closed. (Matt Goff – 2014/Sitka Trails http://www.sitkatrails.org/)

Blue Lake and Green Lake Roads in Sitka remain closed to all traffic. While the city expected to open both roads to pedestrian foot traffic this month, weather is delaying repairs. Large construction equipment continues to operate along both narrow stretches, which service the Blue Lake and Green Lake dams respectively.

The roads were damaged in August of 2015 during a major landslide. Their repair is being partially paid for by the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Once complete, the Electric Department will pick up it’s dam overlook project. To be in compliance under the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission, or FERC, the Electric Department is required to install an overlook at the top of the Blue Lake dam.

Bryan Bertacchi,  the city’s Utility Director, said, “If we didn’t do anything, you’ve got a very steep cliff face right there. And regardless, you’ll have people up there near the lake. As a community we want to provide for safety of the folks up there so no one falls off that cliff face easily.”

The concrete walkway will provide a safe vantage point and, Bertacchi said, could be a scenic spot for visitors. “Tourists and of course the local community will be able to go up and a have a place where you can easily look down at the dam, look down at the back side of the dam when the water is overflowing the dam. So it’s nearly a tourist attraction in town. But it was required under the FERC permit.”

In a press release from November (2016-11-23-road-closure-update), the city said it planned to reopen Blue Lake road to vehicle traffic next summer.