Seward Hwy MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will rehabilitate and improve the safety of 5.5 miles of the Seward Highway between the communities of Moose Pass and Seward, Alaska.  

Public Open House, Seward Library

Public Involvement Recap

This year, the DOT&PF project team has participated in several public outreach activities intended to educate the public about the project's schedule, design, and construction plans, and to gather feedback. 

 

The team held a public meeting in Seward, as well as listening posts in Seward and Moose Pass: 

  • Listening Post at the Moose Pass Community Center, October 1, 2014
  • Listening Post at Seward Carrs grocery store, October 16, 2014
  • Listening Post at the Seward Holiday Bazaar, December 5, 2014

At these events, we gathered your feedback and answered questions.  We also heard from stakeholders through our website and project email address: info@sewardhighway17to22.com.  


 

Update to the Project Design 
In further examination of the project's two proposed passing lanes, project engineers determined that due to the topographical and spatial constraints, the passing lanes were too short to be effective. 

The project design has been updated to include long slow vehicle turnouts (SVTs) in place of the previously designed passing lanes.  The northbound SVT will be located north of Victor Creek, just outside of the Lakeview community, and the southbound SVT will be near the MP 21 "Horsepasture" avalanche area.  Additional slow vehicle turnouts will be included in the areas where the right-of-way, topography and roadway design allow.

You can view updated maps that show the location of the new SVTs in the project library.


Hot Topics

While we have heard about a variety of topics, we'd like to share project information about some of the topics we most often heard about from the public.

  • Bicycle/pedestrian accomodations:  As a part of this highway rehabilitation project, the roadway will be widened to include 6.5 foot shoulders on both sides.  This new, widened shoulder area can accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.  A separate pathway alongside the roadway is not included in the scope of this project; designing and constructing such a pathway would be a challenge given the lack of space between the road, the railroad and the mountainsides in the project area.
    Listening Post at the 2014 Seward
    Holiday Bazaar
  • Construction traffic management: Many folks that we spoke to this year had comments and questions related to traffic management during past construction projects on the Seward Highway. We understand that construction, currently slated to begin in 2018, will impact highway users, and we appreciate hearing your thoughts on how best to minimize construction impacts.  Construction traffic control (closures, etc.) will be the responsibility of the eventually selected construction contractor; however, DOT&PF can outline requirements for that contractor's traffic control plan.  We plan to ask the contractor to clearly communicate all closures and anticipated delays with the public, and to work closely with area emergency respondents to ensure continuity of these essential operations.
  • Tree clearing & firewood: During construction (beginning in 2018), DOT&PF will be clearing trees within the state's newly acquired Right-of-Way line.  We do this for a variety of safety reasons, including to improve visibility along the roadway (especially in areas with curves), to provide ample space for DOT&PF road maintenance crews to clear snow, and to reduce roadway shadows that can lead to icing.  Depending on the location of the removed trees, the trees may be provided to the United States Forest Service, to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, or may become the construction contractor's property to sell or dispose of.  Stay tuned for additional information on tree disposal when we get closer to project construction. 
  • Materials disposal: Where will the rock go? Many of you are curious what will be done with materials that will be a result of the significant proposed rock cuts alongside the roadway.  The removal/relocation of this material will be handled by the construction contractor that will be selected closer to the project's  construction phase, slated to begin in 2018.  Individuals who are interested in aspects of the project's materials handling are encouraged to contact the construction contractor directly, when they are selected. 

 What's Next?

 

We plan to have a project design that is approximately 75% complete in early Spring 2015. The next phase of the project is acquiring some property along the project corridor. We anticipate the right-of-way acquisition process to take approximately two years to complete.  

 

Construction will begin in 2018, pending the availability of funding and other factors.


 

Project Website - Worth a Visit


 

The Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project website, www.sewardhighway17to22.com, contains information about the project's scope, schedule, public involvement, and more. In addition, the site has the following features:


 

  • A series of visual renderings illustrating how the roadway and project corridor will appear following construction - visit the Project Library to view the visualizations.
  • A comment map feature allowing visitors to make a comment associated with a specific point on the map - visit the Home page to access the comment map.
  • An online comment form that allows members of the public to easily provide written comments for the planning team - visit the Comments page to reach the form.

***Note: Joining our e-mail list is a great way to stay up-to-date and to learn about opportunities to be involved in the process. Please feel free to forward this message to others that may have an interest in signing up for the email list.


 

Interested individuals can join our mailing list by clicking the link below or by emailing info@sewardhighway17to22.com.

 

For more information, visit www.sewardhighway17to22.com, email us at info@sewardhighway17to22.com or contact Sean Baski, P.E. at 907-269-0547 or Matt Dietrick, Environmental Analyst, at 907-269-0531. 

 

The DOT&PF operates Federal Programs without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Full Title VI Nondiscrimination Policy:  dot.alaska.gov/tvi_statement.shtml.  To file a complaint go to:  dot.alaska.gov/cvlrts/titlevi.shtml.

 

The DOT&PF complies with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Individuals with disabilities who may need auxiliary aids, services, and/or special modifications to participate in this project should contact Allison Biastock at 907-644-2167 to make necessary arrangements. Individuals with a hearing impairment can contact Relay Alaska at 711 for assistance.


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