Chena Hot Springs Road Improvements
Project No. 0650(026)/63467 & 0650(029)/NFHWY00289
The DOT&PF seeks to improve safety and mobility and to reduce annual pavement maintenance costs through the proposed
construction of two roundabouts at the intersection of the Steese Highway and Chena Hot Springs Road (CHSR) and by rehabilitating milepost
(MP) 0-6 of CHSR from the Old Steese Highway to Nordale Road in Fairbanks.
After careful consideration of comments received through public involvement, examining the results of telephone surveys, and incorporating
feedback into the project design, DOT&PF is moving forward with the construction of the Steese/CHSR roundabouts and a new project that will
include roadway surface rehabilitation on CHSR from MP 0-6 (Old Steese to Nordale). Construction is expected to begin in 2020.
The CHSR MP 0-6 road corridor is characterized by frost heaves that are so significant, they are beyond the ability of routine maintenance
operations to reasonably address. In addition, data indicates the risk of being in a crash at the intersection of the Steese Highway and CHSR
is greater than other similar intersections in the state. This is likely due to high speeds through the intersection and lack of
sufficient sight distance.
- Improve Safety
- National studies show that intersections converted to roundabouts reduce fatalities by an average of 90% and reduce crashes that cause
injury by an average of 76%.
- Local roundabout conversions support the national statistics. In the 10 years since roundabouts were built in North Pole, there
have been zero injury crashes and a 68% reduction in overall crashes.
- Reduced grades on CHSR at the intersection and flattening crest curves will improve sight distance and ease of travel through
- Improve Mobility
- 8,000 vehicles travel through the intersection at the Steese Highway and CHSR every day. 4,000 more vehicles travel on CHSR through
Nordale Road. That volume is expected to grow with the development of North Pole and Northeast Fairbanks, which will increase congestion.
Roundabouts offer the least amount of delay compared to stop-controlled intersections and traffic signals.
- The east roundabout will be have a bypass lane for northbound Steese Highway traffic to turn eastbound on CHSR, completely bypassing
- Rehabilitating the roadway will allow for more comprehensive repairs to the frost heaves, making for a smoother driving surface from
Nordale Road to the Steese Highway. In addition, the Old Steese Highway intersection will be paved from W. Division St to Swan Lane,
including a short section of improvement where Swan Lane (US Post Office access road) intersects the Old Steese Highway.
Proposed Elementary Drive intersection improvements.