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Frequently Asked Questions

 
  1. When will this project be constructed?
  2. Will this project move the highway from its existing location?
  3. Will the speed limits in the project area change when construction is complete?
  4. Will the State need to acquire Right-of-Way for the project? Whose properties will be affected?
  5. What is an encroachment? How does this impact me?
  6. How is the project funded? What will it cost?
  7. Will there be changes to the pathway and sidewalks in the project area?
  8. Will the project add more parking near the pathway?
  9. How will this project impact existing private and commercial driveways/access off the highway?
  10. Will trees be cleared in the existing state right-of-way for this project?
  11. Will crosswalks be added as a part of this project?
  12. Will there be new bus stops constructed with this project? Where will they be built?
1. When will this project be constructed?

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022 following right-of-way clearance and take two to three construction seasons to complete.

2. Will this project move the highway from its existing location?

Due to the proximity of the coastline, utilities, and existing development, as well as the area’s natural topography, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) does not anticipate major shifts in the existing alignment. Planned improvements may straighten some curves to improve sight distances and facilitate traffic movements. The project’s preliminary design maintains the highway’s 11-foot-wide lanes and provides shoulder improvements.

3. Will the speed limits in the project area change when construction is complete?

The project team continues to examine posted speeds in the project area and is considering whether to change posted speed limits.

4. Will the State need to acquire Right-of-Way for the project? Whose properties will be affected?

At this point, specific right-of-way (ROW) impacts are being refined. The project will move into the ROW phase in winter 2020.

5. What is an encroachment? How does this impact me?

Some property owners may also be contacted about encroachments in the existing State-owned ROW. An encroachment is an unauthorized use of a ROW by improvements, objects, items, or obstructions. Encroachments are resolved by removal or may be allowed with a permit. Encroachment permits will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

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6. How is the project funded? What will it cost?

This project is included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the spending plan for Federal Aid. The project will be funded with a mix of federal and State dollars, with an approximate 90% federal/10% State ratio. The current spending plan shows approximately $9 million for Saxman to Surf Street and $15 million for Deermount Street to Saxman. These cost estimates will be refined during final design.

7. Will there be changes to the pathway and sidewalks in the project area?

The existing pathways and sidewalks adjacent to the highway in the project area will be rehabilitated as part of this project. New pathway sections are planned for the water side of the highway from the Forest Park Drive intersection to Surf Street. Once constructed, this new section of pathway will create a continuous pathway along South Tongass Highway from the U.S. Coast Guard Base to the Mountain Point vicinity. The project also provides for a new sidewalk on the land side of the highway between Deermount Street and Community Connections.

8. Will the project add more parking near the pathway?

DOT&PF is aware of public parking shortages near the pathway. The project team continues to look for opportunities to add or enhance parking areas as part of this project’s design.

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9. How will this project impact existing private and commercial driveways/access off the highway?

Some impacts to existing driveways could occur. If driveway relocations are necessary, DOT&PF will work with property owners to finalize driveway configurations.

10. Will trees be cleared in the existing state right-of-way for this project?

Given the narrow corridor, tree clearing is likely. DOT&PF may clear trees up to the limits of the ROW line.

11. Will crosswalks be added as a part of this project?

Crosswalks are being considered as part of the project design.

12. Will there be new bus stops constructed with this project? Where will they be built?

Bus stop turnouts and shelters may be constructed as part of this project. DOT&PF is coordinating with the Borough Transit Manager and the City of Saxman to determine locations for potential stops/shelters. Preliminary bus turnouts are planned in the vicinity of the following locations:

  • Forest Park Drive
  • Totem Row
  • Dog Salmon Avenue
  • Shoup Street

 

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