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State to Improve Safety on Alaska Highways

State to Improve Safety on Alaska Highways


(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Governor Sean Parnell, Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner Pat Kemp and Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters today announced the State will take significant steps to improve Alaska’s highway safety corridors. 

There are presently four designated safety corridors in Alaska: Seward Highway, Potter Marsh to Girdwood; Parks Highway, Wasilla to Houston; Sterling Highway, Sterling to Soldotna; and Knik-Goose Bay Road, Palmer-Wasilla Highway to Pt. MacKenzie. Statewide, serious crashes are down 53 percent within these safety corridors through education, enforcement, engineering and emergency services. 

“Our mission is to reduce the accident and injury rates to zero,” Governor Parnell said. “This initiative is a step toward making Alaska’s highway system safer.”

The initiative establishes an Intelligent Transportation System which includes a centralized highway safety operations center, integrates real-time speed sensors, weather sensors, message boards and avalanche detection systems, adds call boxes, and improves cell coverage.

Drivers can expect to see safety improvements made along the Seward Highway this summer. Five additional slow-vehicle turnouts will be constructed at Mileposts 75, 76, 108, 111 and 115.  Modification and guardrail work at Milepost 88, which is a high accident location two miles south of Girdwood, is also scheduled for this summer. 

The Department of Public Safety will procure two 3-D laser measuring and mapping instruments to reduce highway closure times during accident investigations. 

The State of Alaska will receive approximately $150 million in federal highway funds over three years specifically designated for safety improvements. 

“Safety has been and will continue to be a primary objective for the Department of Transportation,” said Commissioner Kemp. “This is another intermediate step in safety as we incrementally build new projects to mitigate dangerous areas.”

An audio link providing more details on the initiative is available at:

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_audio/02142013-Presser_audio.mp3 

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 255 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,619 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Get Alaska Movingthrough service and infrastructure.



DOT&PF press release