We all know there's two seasons in Alaska ~ Winter and Construction. Interior Alaska’s 2019 construction season is upon us and this summer will be especially busy with major road construction improvements.
Alt Rock 104.7 will keep you updated with the schedule and traffic impacts for the highest-profile road construction projects in the Fairbanks and North Pole areas.
2019 road construction updates brought to you by The Prospector ~ Alaska's Finest Outfitters.
For more detail on all your construction updates visit the ALASKA NAVIGATOR website
MITCHELL EXPRESSWAY CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - PHASE 2
(Monday, June, 17)
The Mitchell Expressway Resurfacing project is moving into its second phase of construction. Included below are details about what you can expect.
What you need to know about Phase 2:
The Mitchell Expressway’s Parks-bound direction of travelis expected to close the night of Monday, June 17 and be closed for the Tuesday morning commute. This closure is expected to last about one month. Richardson-bound travel will be opened to traffic at the same time.
- After the CLOSURE begins, drivers coming from North Pole into Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EXIT at the Mitchell Expressway, but will have to continue on toward Airport Way.
- DETOUR: Drivers can reconnect with the Parks Highway by turning left onto Airport Way, taking Peger Road to the Johansen Expressway, and down Geist Road to the Parks Highway (see attached map).
- Traffic WILL BE ABLE TO CROSS the Mitchell Expressway at University Avenue, Peger Road, and Lathrop Street aside from brief night closures for paving in mid-July.
- Richardson-bound traffic heading toward North Pole will need to take a short detour around the Richardson Highway ramps by taking the Old Richardson Highway past the Alaska Club to reconnect with the Richardson Highway (see detour map). This detour is expected to be complete by the end of June.
Traffic modeling shows that the intersection of Airport Way and the Steese Expressway (near the entrance to Fort Wainwright) will be the intersection with the most delay while the Parks-bound detour is in effect. You are encourage to add time to your drive in order to compensate for the delays and increased traffic around that intersection. DOT's traffic safety section will be monitoring this intersection, and others along the detour route, and will be making changes to signal timing during the first week to alleviate congestion as much as possible. DOT appreciates the generous patience of the Fairbanks community while completing this important project. The improvements made now will provide long-lasting benefits to your commute and will save the state money in the long-run.
MITCHELL EXPRESSWAY RESURFACING
Project Description. This project will resurface the Mitchell Expressway from milepost 356 (between Sheep Creek Extension and Geist Road, where the highway becomes divided) to the Richardson Highway interchange, including work on the interchange ramps. In addition to resurfacing, this project will include bridge repair and maintenance, upgraded guardrail, ADA improvements, new LED light fixtures, and upgraded electrical equipment.
Traffic Impacts. There will be two month-long closures for this project, one for each direction of travel. Starting on Monday, May 20, the Mitchell Expressway will be closed to Richardson-bound traffic from Geist Road to the Richardson Highway interchange. Traffic coming from the Ester area will need to exit at Geist Road. Drivers will be able to cross the Mitchell Expressway at University Avenue, Peger Road, and Lathrop Street. The map below shows the official detour route.
In mid-June, if everything goes according to schedule, the Mitchell Expressway will re-open to Richardson-bound traffic and the second phase will begin. During the second phase, the Mitchell Expressway will be closed to Parks-bound traffic from the Richardson Highway ramps to Geist Road. Traffic coming from North Pole will need to travel toward the Steese Highway to access Airport Way. Drivers will be able to cross the Mitchell Expressway at University Avenue, Peger Road, and Lathrop Street. The map below shows the official detour route.
BADGER ROAD 2-WAY LEFT-TURN LANES
Project Description. This project will construct a two-way left-turn lane on Badger Road between Dennis Road and Hurst Road. It will also include widening the road, curve improvements at the Holmes/Peede intersection, and updated drainage and utilities.
Traffic Impacts. The first phase of this project is expected to begin on Monday, May 13. Work will begin to widen the road on the north shoulder (opposite side from bike path), starting at Dennis Road and working toward Hurst Road. This work will impact access to driveways and side streets on the north side of the road. During this phase, mainline Badger traffic will see lane shifts, a reduced speed limit, and intermittent flagging operations.
After widening work is complete, the contractor will return to Dennis and begin work on mainline Badger Road. This work will be completed in three three-mile sections at a time. Pilot cars will guide traffic through the construction zone. Pilot car operations will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 11 p.m.
DANBY-WEMBLEY ROUNDABOUT & WEMBLEY AVENUE RECONSTRUCTION
Project Description. This project will construct a roundabout at the intersection of Wembley Avenue and Danby Street. Work also includes reconstructing Wembley Avenue and installing an adjacent sidewalk.
Traffic Impacts. Construction will begin on Monday, May 20 and is expected to be complete by October. Crews will be working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week with brief periods of night shifts. The intersection will remain open throughout construction, although drivers will experience some delays. Expect flagging operations, lane shifts, and changing traffic patterns throughout the season. Bike and pedestrian detours will be available throughout construction.
UNIVERSITY AVENUE RECONSTRUCTION
Project Description. During the 2019 construction, the project will focus on permanent striping and electrical work on University Avenue between College Road and Geist Road, and side street work.
Traffic Impacts. Starting on Monday, May 13 and lasting until Sunday, May 19, one lane of University Avenue will be closed in each direction between College Road and Geist Road. Lighting and electrical work will occur during the day shift and permanent striping will be completed during night shifts. There will be additional work on transmission poles in front of Wells Fargo and the Oasis, just south of the intersection. Drivers can expect additional lane closures, mostly for the northbound lanes.
MORE PROJECT INFORMATION
Mitchell Expressway Resurfacing
- ·Project Website: http://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/mitchell/
- ·DOT&PF Project Engineer: Frank Jordano, 703-350-2880, email@example.com
Badger Road 2-Way Left-Turn Lanes
- ·Project Website: http://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/badger/
- ·DOT&PF Project Engineer: Jacob Helton, 907-451-2797, firstname.lastname@example.org
Danby-Wembley Roundabout & Wembley Avenue Reconstruction
- ·Project Website: http://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/danby-wembley/
- ·DOT&PF Project Engineer: Charlie Bohart, 907-451-5367, email@example.com
University Avenue Reconstruction
ADDITIONAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
For more detail on all your construction updates visit the ALASKA NAVIGATOR website.