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Richardson Highway MP 353-357 Access Improvements Project
Project No. 66148/HRO-0A2-4(19)

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) with contractor, Great Northwest, Inc., is constructing safety and access improvements on the Richardson Highway corridor between the 6-mile Badger Road interchange and Levee Way. Construction on this project began in June 2019 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2020 construction season.

The four-lane highway that connects Fairbanks with North Pole was originally constructed in 1966. Over the past half-decade, amid residential, commercial, and industrial growth, partial frontage roads and additional access points were added along the highway, many of which do not adhere to modern design standards. Today, an average of 14,000 vehicles drive through the corridor every day, and that number is expected to increase over the next 15 years.

What is happening in 2020?

Projeect Board

The bulk of the work in 2020 will happen on the mainline highway that connects North Pole with Fairbanks. This work will have a significant impact on Richardson Highway commuter traffic and drivers should expect delays.

Here is what drivers can expect:

  • Starting in late April, the southbound lanes of the Richardson Highway (or the direction of travel coming from Fairbanks to North Pole) will be closed.
  • Traffic will be moved to the opposite side of the highway, one lane of travel in each direction.
  • Some access points along the highway will be restricted, but detour signs will direct traffic to open access points.
  • We expect this first closure will last about one month. After this closure is complete, traffic will move to the other side of the highway, with one lane of travel in each direction.
  • We expect the second closure will also last for about one month.

Drivers should expect that their commute between Fairbanks and North Pole will be delayed, especially during peak travel times. We ask that drivers plan extra time to travel during construction. For updated information about traffic impacts throughout the season, please visit

Contractor Great Northwest, Inc. installs a culvert, part of the access road expansion and improvements that were constructed in 2019 during the first year of construction for this project.

What is the purpose of this project?

This project will improve safety on this high-traffic corridor by changing how drivers access the highway and improving visibility. The project includes the following improvement:

Safety and Access Improvements

  • Multiple access points along the corridor will be consolidated into new at-grade intersections. New intersections will include acceleration and deceleration lanes for traffic entering and exiting the Richardson Highway.
  • New intersections will be designed to accommodate large trucks.
  • Highway lighting will be installed at new intersections to improve visibility and reduce the likelihood of crashes.

Frontage Road Improvements

Frontage roads will be constructed or improved to better serve the access needs of local traffic. The project will include new pavement, road widening, drainage upgrades, and accommodation for emergency vehicles and snow plows.

  • Frontage roads north of the Richardson Highway will be improved and extended between Bright Electric (near westbound Badger Road interchange ramp) and Exclusive Paving.
  • Frontage roads south of the Richardson Highway will be improved and extended between LuAnne Road and Black Gold Express/Hamilton Construction.

Contractor Great Northwest, Inc. expanded and improved the frontage roads along the Richardson Highway between Fairbanks and North Pole in 2019.