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Airport Way/Steese Expressway Interchange
Project No. 0002(385)/NFHWY00245

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF), in cooperation with the Alaska Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), proposes safety improvements at the intersection of Gaffney Road, Airport Way, Richardson Highway and the Steese Expressway in Fairbanks, Alaska. This project is being developed under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Purpose & Need:

The purpose of this project is to construct a grade-separated facility at the intersection of Gaffney Road, Airport Way, Richardson Highway and the Steese Expressway (GARS) to improve safety and traffic flow.

The existing intersection is regularly in the top 10 of all intersections in Northern Region for total number of crashes within a 5 year window. It has the 5th highest number of total injury and fatal crashes.

Construction of a grade-separated interchange overpass will improve safety by providing a free-flow of northbound/southbound traffic on the Richardson Highway/Steese Expressway--removing nearly 35% of the traffic volume from the signalized intersection. This reduces the number of potential conflicts between turning vehicles. 

Project Scope:

This project proposes the following actions:

  • Elevating the Richardson Highway/Steese Expressway over the intersection
  • Constructing on and off ramps to access Airport Way and Gaffney Road
  • Adding new lighting, signage, striping, drainage, traffic signals, and pedestrian multi-use path improvements
  • Improving drainage and relocating the existing snow dump near the Chena River to improve maintenance access and water quality treatment

Project Status:

The project is just starting-up! Traffic studies, crash analysis, and preliminary engineering concepts are being evaluated to define the footprint of the proposed interchange. Field investigations, including a traffic noise study and a topographic survey, are scheduled for this summer (2018). Agency coordination and public involvement is being planned with a public open house anticipated for early fall of 2018.

Project Schedule:

project schedule