Old Steese to McGrath Road Connector
Project Update (2/22/13)
DOT&PF is closing the project. The “No-Build” alternative was selected, submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and approved. The following reasons led to the final decision:
- Traffic analysis. Upon reviewing project traffic volumes and turning movements, it was shown the new connector would not provide long term solutions to the current traffic issues in northeastern Fairbanks.
- Public and agency opposition. DOT&PF received a lot of comments, carefully reviewed each, and determined the community overwhelmingly did not support the project.
- Maintenance considerations. The new connector would have been built over poor foundation soils, resulting in high maintenance efforts and costs.
- Environmental impacts. A study was performed and showed a majority of the connector would have been built through wetlands.
Al Beck, engineering manager for the project, briefed Channel 13 news (Tom Hewitt), KUAC radio (Dan Bross), and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Dermot Cole) about the status of the project on February 7, 2013.
GO Bond Update (2/22/13)
Alaska voters passed Bonding Proposition A – Transportation Projects in November 2012. As a result, $24,000,000 became available to:
- Upgrade the Old Steese Highway from Trainor Gate Road to Johansen Expressway
- Extend Northside Boulevard from the intersection of the Johansen Expressway to the intersection of McGrath Road and Farmers Loop Road
Based on traffic analysis, public and agency opposition, maintenance considerations, and environmental impacts, the GO Bond funding will only be used to the upgrade the Old Steese Highway. Any remaining funds will be returned to the State of Alaska for use on other GO Bond projects.
Project Scope (Project closed out – No longer valid)
Upgrade and extend Northside Boulevard from the intersection of the Johansen Expressway to the intersection of McGrath Road and Farmers Loop Road. Improvements will include intersection upgrades and bicycle/pedestrian facilities.