The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF), in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), proposes to improve a 3-mile section of the Glenn Highway from Milepost (MP) 53 to 56 and construct a new bridge over Moose Creek. The purpose and need of the project is to provide a safe highway with an acceptable Level of Service for anticipated traffic for the next 20 years or more.
As of fall 2020, the Glenn Highway has a steep grade and tight curves between MP 53 and 56. Due to Moose Creek Canyon’s unstable gravel slopes, rockfall is also an ongoing issue on the roadway. These undesirable features, along with associated maintenance challenges, have made this project a priority for the State of Alaska and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Prior to 2021, DOT&PF was pursuing an alternative that realigned the highway between MP 53 and MP 56, eliminated curves, and included a new bridge over Moose Creek approximately 2,800 feet south of the existing bridge. In late 2020, DOT&PF determined that this alternative is no longer prudent due to escalating project costs, unanticipated environmental impacts, and right-of-way acquisition difficulties. Additionally, FHWA recently revised controlling highway design criteria guidance, allowing greater flexibility for performance-based practical solutions to the unique challenges in this highway segment. Consequently, DOT&PF is now working with the FHWA to reconfigure the project to an alternative that minimizes these impacts while satisfying the purpose and need of the project.
Extensive historical and cultural resources planning, investigation, and consultation with collaborating agencies and local tribal organizations has resulted in the unanticipated discovery of significant impacts on historical and cultural resources in Moose Creek Canyon. Additionally, the Department has encountered unanticipated right-of-way acquisition challenges and escalating project costs. As a result, DOT&PF is reevaluating alternatives for the project in light of its duty of good stewardship of the environment, historical and cultural resources, and taxpayer resources. DOT&PF will identify the preferred alternative once the reevaluation is complete.
Website updated 10/06/2020