The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities has an updated design concept for the Knik-Goose Bay Road reconstruction for the Centaur Avenue to Vine Road section of the project.
The KGB Road improvement is one of the highest infrastructure priorities of the Dunleavy Administration. It was put on hold by the former Walker Administration because, according to Rep. Mark Neuman, the people of the Valley were not supportive of the Walker plan to cut the Permanent Fund dividend in half and tax working class Alaskans. Neuman said that’s what he was told by the governor’s legislative liaison.
The project was immediately restarted once Michael Dunleavy took office.
The design changes are based on input from the public and stakeholders to address issues, challenges, safety, and future needs, the department said. The public is encouraged to review the plans, ask questions and submit comments to the design team.
The corridor is heavily used and the site of numerous accidents, especially during peak hours. DOT says the project will
add capacity and correct problems created by what is described as unconstrained access, meaning drivers can enter and exit the road at any point, rather than at structured locations. This new design should improve safety and reduce congestion. The project will be designed to accommodate both current needs and projected future volumes.
This project will expand the corridor to a four-lane divided roadway with a separated multi-use pathway on the west side, turn lanes, access control, traffic signals, drainage, and other related improvements. In order to improve safety and reduce congestion, breaks in the median are proposed for every half mile to mile.
The project design is approximately 75 percent complete. The team will continue to gather public input and coordinate with the adjacent Vine Road to Settler’s Bay Drive part of the KGB Road project. The next steps are to refine the engineering plans and move ahead on the appraisal and acquisition of additional right-of-way needed for the project.
Updated maps and materials are available at www.knikgoosebay.com.
The Centaur Avenue to Vine Road project is the larger of the two Knik-Goose Bay Road reconstruction projects that DOT is moving toward construction. It’s 6.5 miles long and has numerous utility relocations and around 200 property acquisitions. Total project cost is $125-150 million, 90 percent of which is paid for by federal funds. DOT is considering options to move the project into construction expeditiously, including advanced utility relocations and breaking the project into several phases.
DOT is hosting a public open house on May 16 to provide information to the public and discuss the new design features, highway layout, and the potential property impacts with residents.
KGB Road was designated by the State of Alaska as a Safety Corridor in 2009 due to a higher -than-average rate of fatalities and major injury crashes. This designation allowed a multi-agency approach to reduce crashes, bringing together law enforcement, engineering, emergency services and education to improve the safety of the highway.
In the 10 years since KGB Road was designated as a Safety Corridor, the department has invested about $9 million in safety features, including signing, striping and signals. These features have achieved reductions in crashes, however, significant upgrades are still needed and many deaths have occurred along this road.
The Centaur Avenue to Vine Road upgrades are scheduled for construction in 2021.