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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2014
No.: 14-2540
Contact:  Jeremy Woodrow, 907-465-8994, Jeremy.Woodrow@alaska.gov

ADOT&PF and ADFG Work to Improve Traveler Safety

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), in consultation with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), is conducting statewide vegetation management on state highways this summer with the primary goal of improving traveler safety. 

Left uncontrolled, roadside vegetation can obstruct motorists’ line of vision and limit their view of the road ahead, traffic control devices, approaching vehicles and wildlife. Abundant woody vegetation along roadsides provides winter browse and can encourage moose to spend time near roads.

Moose collisions can result in serious injuries or death as well as significant damage to vehicles. The Department of Fish and Game supports effective vegetation management along roads and highways to reduce the risk of vehicle collisions with wildlife. 

The two agencies collaborated to identify highway corridors that require special maintenance attention. The following tactics are being implemented to improve traveler safety on Alaska’s highways: 

  • Removing and disposing vegetation that attracts wildlife species to the roadside.
  • Improving sight distance and visibility of signs and markers.
  • Removing possible roadside hazards, such as trees.
  • Decreasing shaded areas to increase the effectiveness of snow and ice maintenance efforts.

Vegetation management additionally helps to reduce asphalt deterioration, preserve guardrails, fences and other roadway safety features, and controls or eliminates invasive and noxious weeds.

ADOT&PF and ADFG recently formed the Wildlife and Highways Workgroup to promote traveler safety, efficient transportation, and economical ways to plan, design, and operate Alaska’s highways while reducing negative impacts to wildlife populations.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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