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Richardson Highway MP 266-341 Passing Lanes
    Project Number 0A23021/Z607150000

Project Area

Project Description

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is working to select and design passing lanes on the Richardson Highway between Delta Junction and North Pole (mileposts 266 to 341). The project's purpose is to reduce traffic congestion and increase safety.

Passing lanes are an effective tool to improve capacity and safety on two-lane highways. The purpose of passing lanes is to reduce aggressive driving behavior where, in the absence of a passing lane, passing would have to occur in the opposing traffic lane.

Project Scope

The project includes the following work:

  • Construct up to 16 passing lanes within eight general locations along the Richardson Highway, ranging in length from 2 miles to 0.9 miles and spaced approximately six to eight miles apart.
  • Construct riprap revetments or bank stabilization along the bank of an unnamed slough of the Tanana River to protect it against erosion at two locations: milepost 283.6 and milepost 282.5.
  • Construct a barrier at the base of unstable hillsides, at select locations, to prevent rocks that are rolling down the hillside from entering the highway’s driving surface.
  • Within the proposed improvement areas, the project will extend or replace existing culverts and other drainage facilities, dig out and replace deficient embankments, clear vegetation, relocate utilities, and reconstruct driveways and approaches, signs and striping, and guardrail.

Project Status

The team completed a draft Route Selection Report and solicited comments from users at public meetings in November 2016. The Route Selection Report evaluated potential passing lane locations using a two-tiered process to determine the most effective locations between Delta Junction and North Pole, that improve safety and capacity, incorporate public input, minimize construction costs and environmental impacts, and conform to applicable design criteria.

The team completed a Design Study Report containing detailed evaluation of the passing lane locations including safety, constructability within the existing right-of-way, drainage, utilities impacts, and environmental considerations. Ten (10) of the 16 original passing lanes evaluated are being moved forward to final design.

The final product will be plans, specifications and estimates for passing lane construction. Concurrent with the design work, DOT&PF will complete environmental documentation and permitting.


Fieldwork was completed in Summer 2022. Construction of the passing lanes will likely be completed in phases, which will be determined as the locations are evaluated. The earliest construction could begin in 2023. Construction timing is dependent on many factors including utility relocations and permitting.

Public Involvement

The project team held a public meeting on May 19, 2022 to present an overview of the project, answer questions, and take comments. You can review the meeting materials here:

If you have ideas, concerns, or information you would like to share about the project area and proposed improvements, please email us at