|What's New with the Parks Highway Alternative Corridor Project?|
Welcome - Introduction
The Parks Highway is part of the National Highway System and is officially identified as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. The Parks Highway is an important component of the United States strategic defense policy and provides defense access, continuity, and emergency capabilities for the movement of personnel, materials, and equipment in both peacetime and wartime. It serves the national interest as a key corridor for motor vehicle access between major military installations and strategic intermodal terminals.
The Parks Highway functions as the critical transportation link between Anchorage, the Ports of Anchorage, Seward, and Nikiski, military bases in the Interior and those in the Municipality of Anchorage. It connects Alaska’s two largest metropolitan areas (Anchorage and Fairbanks) and via its connection to the Dalton Highway, Prudhoe Bay.
The National Military Highway System is the cornerstone of America’s transportation system. Originally proposed to support military mobilization for national defense, the system has become crucial to both inter-state commerce and individual mobility. The preservation of these functions is a long-standing Congressional mandate and reinforced with each authorization of the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
Recent growth has significantly impacted the function and capacity of the Parks Highway. The road segment experiencing the most significant congestion and decreased level-of-service is the section between Big Lake Road and the Seward Meridian Parkway.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), in partnership with the City of Wasilla and the MSB, is conducting a study to identify alternative Parks Highway routes that could move through traffic around Wasilla. The study will examine various approaches to improving the flow of regional traffic while providing relief from traffic congestion in the core of Wasilla.
The Parks Highway is congested, with long delays, especially at intersections in Wasilla. Recent traffic modeling predicts future traffic conditions worsening on the Parks Highway and connecting roads in the Wasilla area, causing greater delays. Additional traffic signals at intersections on the Parks have provided easier access to the highway but have contributed significantly to traffic delays. In addition, the expansion of the Parks Highway over time has resulted in dividing downtown Wasilla. Click here for information regarding preliminary corridor development.
The purpose of this project is to identify solutions that will 1) provide a through traffic alternative to maintain the functionality of the Parks Highway; 2) significantly alleviate congestion through downtown Wasilla, and 3) help create a more functional and livable downtown in Wasilla.
The ADOT&PF received a $2 million State General Fund legislative appropriation to develop a solution to the congested Parks Highway corridor in and around Wasilla.
The project is being developed as a partnership between the City of Wasilla, MSB and the ADOT&PF.
The project's Steering Committee consists of the Mayor of Wasilla, the MSB's Borough Manager and ADOT&PF's Central Region Director