Wake up, Girdwood! Now is the time to tune in and speak up about the proposed “improvements” to the Seward Highway-Alyeska Highway intersection. The proposed alternative is a disaster that prioritizes speed of travel at the expense of the unique qualities, values and appeal of the Girdwood valley and Seward Highway Scenic Byway.
The result? A project that destroys the migratory stopover for sandhill cranes, swans and snow geese and breeding habitat for numerous species of waterfowl on the south side of the Seward Highway; creates an unnecessarily large, complicated interchange with a bridge that is out of touch with the vibe of the community it accesses in an area recognized for its natural and scenic beauty; locates highway infrastructure in an area that already floods with extreme high tides, a situation that will only worsen as sea levels rise; and that fails to address the root of the problem which is excessive speed.
Comically, project planners describe this alternative as an opportunity to “create a gateway feel into Girdwood.” Indeed, this interchange will be the doorway into our community, but is this the door we want? Nothing says “Welcome to Girdwood” like an expanse of asphalt and a four-lane divided highway.
— Charla Sterne
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