$108 Million Will Concentrate on Clearing Traffic Congestion
December 15, 2004
There are two basic reasons why the governor wants to use state funds instead of federal funds: first, projects eligible for federal funding outpace the available funds by 50 to 1; and second, the federal process requires such a long-term timeline that many of the projects we are proposing could not be built in a timely manner
"Many of these projects offer multiple benefits to the communities in which they are located, as well as to the economic vitality of the state as a whole," Murkowski said. "For example, by investing in projects in East Anchorage that clear up the significant traffic congestion problems we have there, we also can create a major truck route through Anchorage that will serve construction of the natural gas pipeline.
"Other corridor improvements, such as the Palmer-Wasilla Highway or the Kalifornsky Beach Road on the Kenai Peninsula, will result in smoother flowing traffic in areas critical to commerce, local traffic, and tourism-based businesses."
The $108 million package includes the following projects:
Anchorage - Midtown congestion and truck route improvements - $26 million. This multiple-project initiative will identify and construct the most congestion-relieving projects in East Anchorage. It includes the Tudor Road-Bragaw Street intersection improvements ($7 million) and Dowling Road east extension ($17 million). The Dowling Road extension portion of the project creates a truck bypass route important to the gas pipeline construction.
Anchorage - Glenn Highway congestion and truck corridor improvements - $30.5 million. This project would expedite construction of the Glenn Highway-Bragaw Street interchange to resolve one of the most severe traffic bottlenecks in south central. As this route is a major truck route between the Port of Anchorage and points to the north and east, this improvement will also serve in the ramp-up for construction of the natural gas pipeline.
Kenai Peninsula - Kalifornsky Beach Road rehabilitation - $11 million. This project will expedite rehabilitation of the Kalifornsky Beach Road from its intersection with the Sterling Highway to the Kenai Bridge Access Road, a distance of 16 miles. This corridor provides critical access for commerce between the City of Kenai and the southern Kenai Peninsula area, as well as the port of Homer.
Mat-Su - Congestion improvements - $21 million. This group of projects is aimed at relieving traffic congestion between Palmer and Wasilla. Thirteen million dollars will expedite construction of the Bogard Road extension project and related projects. Another $6 million will go toward completing the environmental process for the Palmer-Wasilla Highway expansion to address long-term congestion problems. Additionally, $2 million will be used to begin work with the Alaska Railroad on the environmental process for a new multi-modal alternate Parks Highway and ARR corridor through Wasilla.
Fairbanks - University Avenue/Geist/Johansen Intersection Improvements - $3.5 million. Add right turn pockets at the intersection of University Avenue, Geist Road and Johansen Expressway to alleviate congestion. This is one of the highest-volume intersections in the Fairbanks area. Both north- and southbound traffic along University Avenue backs up during peak hour at this intersection. The addition of right turn pockets will help relieve this congestion by removing vehicles from through lanes. Additional channelization of the receiving lanes for the dual left turn movement south to eastbound will be included. This may also include adjustments to provide dual left turns for north to westbound traffic.
Richardson Highway - Passing lanes additions - $5 million. This project will construct additional vehicle passing lanes at selected locations on the Richardson Highway between MP 265 and 341 (Delta Junction to Eielson Air Force Base) to facilitate the passing of slow-moving military convoys, large trucks and RV traffic.
Stampede Road - Improvements, MP 0 to 8 - $5 million. This project would upgrade and resurface the historic Stampede Road from the Parks Highway to 8 Mile Lake, a route with growing tourism interest and traffic. The existing road is 22 feet wide to MP 3.5 and was chip sealed in 2000. The remainder of the road is unimproved with very little gradable surfacing material. The road ends at an unimproved parking area at 8 Mile Lake, which serves as a trail head for the old Stampede Trail. The existing 22-foot wide road will be augmented and widened and surfaced with an asphalt surface treatment. This project also includes improvements to the parking area at 8 Mile Lake.
Cordova - Copper River Highway rehabilitation - $4 million. This project entails pavement rehabilitation of the Copper River Highway between Cordova and the Cordova Airport. The original pavement was constructed in 1966. It has long exceeded its service life and is beyond the capabilities of routine maintenance. This project would improve the most critical sections of this route, important to commerce and tourism in Prince William Sound.
McCarthy Road - Major maintenance
- $2 million. This project would improve the most critical sections
of this route, important to tourism in south central Alaska and
the only access for locals and visitors to McCarthy and Kennecott
and into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Source of News Release: