New study looks at potential connection between Glenn and Seward Highways

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 9:13 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is in the early stages of looking into a highway connection between the Glenn and Seward Highways. The department has started a Seward Highway to Glenn Highway Planning and Environmental Linkage Study.

The study is looking at the linkage of the two highways between the Seward Highway, near 20th Avenue, and the Glenn Highway east of Airport Heights. The hope is that it will inform the environmental review process since the undertaking of linking the two highways isn’t new, and has been discussed dating back to 1972 in the Anchorage Long Range Transportation Plan. Previously, the transportation department started an environmental impact statement for the project, but it was canceled in 2010.

This latest effort began as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2040, and the study got underway in June 2021 and is scheduled to take three years to finish in spring of 2024, according to the project’s website. The study has six phases, and is currently in phase two, looking at the problems to be solved.

The Seward-Glenn Mobility website has an online open house through Feb. 28 in the hopes that those looking at their online presence will help identify issues or concerns with the study area. The open house takes a look at the study and what they’ve found so far.

In 2019, they looked into the annual average daily traffic during a day and found East 5th Avenue saw the highest at 15,000 to 41,600 vehicles a day. Ingra Street saw 12,200 to 19,100 and Gambell Street had 7,470 to 23,600 vehicles in average daily traffic. They also found crash information in the Seward-Glenn Corridor along with “crash hot spots.”

The open house online also looks at the key roads used for freight inside the study area, and found the Port of Alaska generated a lot of traffic especially on days ships arrived, according to the study. The last part of the open house dives into the community and environmental factors found in the study that would impact the connection of the two highways.

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