Road construction season kicks into high gear across city

Rosemary Shinohara
Traffic is slowed and occasionally stopped Wednesday as work is under way to improve Dowling Road and extend it to C Street in the first phase of the West Dowling Road project.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Construction constricts traffic on C Street on Wednesday as crews begin to create a new intersection with an extension of Dowling Road.
Photos by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The end of construction is in sight as a moose yearling grazes along Potter Drive on Wednesday afternoon just past the West Dowling Road construction zone.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

Detours, lane closures and lower speed limits lie ahead for Anchorage drivers. Road construction projects are gearing up across the municipality, from Bird to Ninth Avenue.

The state has two big ones -- a section of West Dowling Road for $47.5 million and a stretch of Seward Highway for $59.5 million -- and a handful of others. Those prices cover the entire project from design through right-of-way purchase and construction, said state Department of Transportation engineer Jim Amundsen.

The city has about 30 road projects scattered around town, said Jerry Hansen, the municipality's deputy director of project management and engineering.

Some are just going out to bid, with construction starting soon, and others, like the two largest state projects, are already in progress.

Some major state projects

• Dowling Road: Reconstruction from C Street to Old Seward Highway. This is Phase 1 of a bigger project to extend West Dowling through to Minnesota Drive, giving Anchorage drivers a new crosstown route. Phase 2 is to begin next year.

The C-to-Old Seward section under construction this year includes rehabilitation and widening of existing road, building a bridge over Campbell Creek Trail, and also building new road to fill a gap between B and C Street. No longer will Dowling curve and flow into Potter Drive between A and C. The new part will make that end of Dowling straight.

Detours and lane restrictions are expected intermittently.

• Seward Highway: Widening the highway from four to six lanes between Tudor and Dowling Roads, and raising the highway and frontage roads over Campbell Creek, connecting the trail underneath.

Homer Drive, the frontage road west of the highway, is closed from Tudor to north of International Airport Road.

Southbound highway travelers face a detour off the highway beginning in mid-July.

• Victor Road: Widening and resurfacing and improving pathway, lighting and landscaping, 100th Avenue to Dimond Boulevard.

Road closed except to residents, Dimond to Sea Parrot Circle, May 18-28.

• Jewel Lake Road: Resurfacing, new medians and pedestrian improvements between 63rd Avenue and Aviation Avenue. Added turn lanes at Jewel Lake and International. Intermittent lane closures and detours at night, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

• Seward Highway, Bird to Girdwood (Miles 89 to 96.6): Resurfacing. After the mid-June start-up, expect one-lane traffic and pilot cars at night after rush hour.

High-profile city projects

• Ninth Avenue, Cordova to Latouche streets: Replace asphalt, curbs, make pedestrian improvements. Start in early July.

• Raspberry Road, Arctic Boulevard to C Street: Widen from two lanes to three lanes, add trail. Start in early August.

• 40th Avenue, Folker Street to Wellness Drive: Complete upgrade with path, sidewalk, curbs, and a tie-in to Chester Creek Trail. Part of bigger project that included new section of 40th from Lake Otis to Piper Street. Re-starts later in May.

• Retaining wall at Third Avenue between K and I Streets: Reconstruct after vehicle smashed into it last year. Start in mid-July.

• 32nd Avenue from Muldoon Road to Brookridge Avenue, and Cherry Street from 32nd to 36th Avenue: Upgrade from two-lane strip pavement to modern two-lane road with curbs and gutters, sidewalk and trail. Includes parallel parking on 32nd. Start in early July.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at or 257-4340.

Work starts on major change to Seward Highway in Anchorage
State road projects in the Anchorage area
City road projects

Anchorage Daily News