|What's New with the Parks Highway Alternative Corridor Project?|
Welcome! - Introduction
The Parks Highway is part of the National Highway System. It functions as the critical transportation link between Anchorage, the central and western Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB), Denali National Park, Fairbanks and, via its connection to the Dalton Highway, Prudhoe Bay. 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.
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 started as a partnership between the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC), City of Wasilla, MSB and the ADOT&PF. The original scope was for investigation of one or more corridors for both highway and rail. However, for a number of reasons, including the pace of development within this part of the MSB, and the potential for a new rail spur to Port MacKenzie, the ARRC dropped out of the agreement in early 2009. The ARRC intends to proceed separately to develop corridor options to meet their needs.
The project's Steering Committee consists of the Mayor of Wasilla, the MSB's Borough Manager and ADOT&PF's Central Region Director.