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HSIP: Chena Small Tracts Roundabout
IRIS#: NFHWY00699, Federal Project #: 0645016

Figure 1. Conceptual drawing of preliminary single lane roundabout design at the intersection of Chena Pump Road, Chena Small Tracts Road, and Old Chena Ridge Road in Fairbanks.

We are designing a single-lane roundabout at the intersection of Chena Pump Road, Chena Small Tracts Road, and Old Chena Ridge Road with the goal of improving safety. For intersections like this one, a roundabout is a safer solution than a four-way stop or traffic signal.

We held a public open house on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Check out the open house materials in the sidebar! If you have any questions or comments about the materials, please email us at or calling us at (907) 374-3743.

If we already knew we were building a roundabout, why did we want your feedback?

This project is funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). Projects funded by this program must reduce the potential for serious injury and fatal crashes. Roundabouts do an exceptionally good job at this—a much better job than traffic signals. In fact, roundabouts are so good at reducing the likelihood of serious crashes that FHWA and Alaska DOT&PF have a “roundabouts first” policy. When reconstructing an intersection, a roundabout must be considered first (before a traffic signal or four-way stop).

Even though we knew we were moving forward with a roundabout, there were still decisions that we wanted public input on, such as pedestrian access, lighting, landscaping, and construction phasing options.

Project Update & Schedule

Thanks to everyone who took the time to ask questions and share their thoughts on this project. The project team is currently responding to the public comments we have received to date and developing the approximate 75%-complete design of a single-lane roundabout. We expect the roundabout will be constructed in 2025.

Figure 2. A schedule graphic showing the project timeline progression (last updated 3/14/24)


The purpose of this project is to improve safety and reduce wait times for traffic turning from side roads. The volume of traffic through this intersection has grown in recent years, which indicated it was time to look at ways to reduce delay and provide safe opportunities for drivers to enter Chena Pump Road from Chena Small Tracts Road and Old Chena Ridge Road.

The decision to move forward with the design of a roundabout at this location was based on the documented safety benefits of roundabouts and a survey of area residents conducted in April 2021 showing support for the project. This project is federally funded through our Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Why a roundabout?

We began examining conditions at this intersection after receiving complaints about wait times from residents. Peak traffic wait times for pedestrians and vehicles entering or crossing Chena Pump Road from Chena Small Tracts Road and Old Chena Ridge Road have become long enough that we expect more people to make riskier maneuvers to enter or cross the street than they would with shorter wait times.

This expectation is supported by crash data. The most common type of vehicle crash at this intersection is a right-angle crash, which commonly happens because side street traffic does not correctly gauge gaps in oncoming traffic. A crash of this type resulted in a serious injury in 2021.

The Federal Highway Administration and the State of Alaska have a “Roundabouts First” policy that requires us to consider a roundabout before other potential solutions like a traffic signal. We determined that a roundabout at this intersection will improve safety and reduce wait times for side street traffic.

Why are roundabouts safer than a signal or stop sign?

Fewer opportunities for crashes: In a traditional four-way intersection, there are more points where vehicle paths conflict with each other. For example, a vehicle turning left could be in conflict with on-coming traffic. In a roundabout, there are fewer opportunities for conflict because vehicles are flowing in the same direction around the roundabout.

Less-severe crashes: The types of crashes that occur in a traditional four-way intersection include high-speed t-bone and head-on crashes that are more likely to be serious. Crashes that occur in roundabouts tend to happen at slower speeds and be side-angle crashes, which are typically less severe.

Prior to nominating this project for HSIP funding, we reached out to the neighborhood with a short survey asking residents if they would support a roundabout at this location. We received nearly 400 responses and 58% indicated they were favorable toward a roundabout at this intersection, 33% were unfavorable, and 9% were neutral. Due to this response, we nominated the project and it was funded in 2022. You can read the survey summary and full responses here.

Rules of the roundabout

Unsure what you’re supposed to do when approaching a roundabout? Here are four simple steps:
  1. Slow down: Reduce your speed as you approach the roundabout and watch for pedestrians in the crosswalks.
  2. Yield: As you approach the roundabout, look to your left and yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Traffic inside the roundabout always has the right-of-way.
  3. Enter when there is a gap: You do not need to come to a full stop if you can enter safely without stopping.
  4. Signal when exiting: Turning your right blinker on when you are exiting is a courtesy to other drivers, but not a legal requirement.

Visit our roundabouts website to learn more.

Submit a comment

You can submit a comment by emailing the project team at, calling us at (907) 451-2281, or writing to us at:
Northern Region DOT&PF
Attn: Ethan E. Graetz, P.E.
2301 Peger Road
Fairbanks, AK 99709

This website was last updated in June 2024. You can expect us to post updates at least every three months throughout the design process. If you would like more information, please reach out to the project team at or (907) 451-2281.