Anchorage roadway renamed for former Gov. Hickel

Nathaniel Herz
Rendering of the Walter J Hickel Parkway sign ("expressway" will read "parkway" in the final version).

Former Alaska Governor Walter Hickel has a stretch of road to call his own.

Well, sort of: Governor Sean Parnell last week signed a bill that names Minnesota Drive and a section of O'Malley Road the "Walter J. Hickel Parkway."

The state's Department of Transportation is in the process of making a pair of five-foot-tall signs to mark either end of the 7.5 miles, but addresses along the road won't change, according to spokesman Rick Feller.

Feller said that it would take up to a month for the signs to be built, and he didn't know when they would be installed. He said they would cost about $40,000.

Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) originally sponsored the bill to commemorate Hickel, a Republican who switched to the Alaska Independence Party when he ran and was elected to governor for the second time in 1990, after serving from 1966 to 1969.

He also was a secretary of the interior under President Richard Nixon, and appointed Ted Stevens as a senator in 1968. Hickel died in 2010.

Reach Nathaniel Herz at nherz@adn.com or 257-4311.


By NATHANIEL HERZ
nherz@adn.com