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Dowling Road project to disrupt traffic all summer

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:19 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Starting in early June, commuters can expect detours in parts of Midtown as one of Anchorage’s biggest road construction projects is about to get underway.

In order to accommodate more traffic in the area, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will be working on a project on the Seward Highway as well as the Dowling Road roundabouts.

The work starts the night of May 19 and Dowling Road will be closed at the roundabouts. Starting June 3 all the way through October, there’s going to be a major change in the traffic pattern on the Seward Highway at Dowling Road as well.

When the Dowling Road roundabouts were originally installed in 2004, they were designed for projected traffic levels up to the year 2020. However, the traffic load today is much higher, leading to frequent back-ups, especially during rush hour. Department Project Manager Jacob Gondek explained this is why changes are needed.

“One of the advantages of replacing the bridge is that it will also be longer which will give us more room underneath the bridge on Dowling Road,” Gondek said. “That will allow us to make the roundabouts larger, almost double in size, which will allow more traffic to flow through on Dowling Road east and west.

In total, the project is expected to take two years, meaning this will be the first of two summers in which drivers will be expected to make adjustments on their commute.

“This is a multiphase project and the first intention is to transition the highway down to where the roundabouts currently are at and then transition the highway back up to its current main alignment. What that will do is allow the main area where the bridge is located to be handled by the contractor and completely replace the bridge,” said Gondek.

For the present, it may cause difficulties in travel along Dowling, but the goal is for the end result to be a smoother traffic flow, and for surrounding businesses to receive more traffic too.

“People in the area are going to see some impacts this summer. Definitely recommend finding alternative routes. You’re not going to be able to use Dowling Road between Brayton and Homer drive. There’s going to be heavy traffic on Tudor and also on Dimond,” Gondek said.

This federally funded project totaling $43 million includes bridge replacement, grading, paving, drainage, retaining walls, signing, striping, and lighting.

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