Aproject to transform Anchorage’s ma- jor north-south highway into a six-lane road is almost two-thirds done. This
summer, contractor QAP plans to finish construction on the second of three main phases
to widen and improve the Seward Highway
between Tudor Road and O’Malley Road.
The third stage of the project is now being
designed, with plans for construction to start
For more than a decade planners have been
working on the busy four miles between Tudor
and O’Malley, transforming the stretch of roadway into the second six-lane highway in the state.
As it enters Anchorage from the south, the
Seward Highway passes near Dimond Center (Alaska’s largest shopping mall), midtown
Anchorage, the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Providence Alaska Medical Center
(Alaska’s largest hospital) before ending at
5th Avenue in downtown Anchorage.
The original Seward Highway was built in
1952. The then two-lane highway connected
Seward on the Kenai Peninsula with downtown Anchorage, along a path that sometimes parallels the Alaska Railroad tracks.
The city of Anchorage itself had grown out of
a railroad construction camp established at
Ship Creek in 1915.
In 1952, Anchorage had recently overtaken
Fairbanks as the largest city in the Territory
of Alaska, but Anchorage was a much smaller city than today. Along the Seward Highway corridor, the hospital and university in
the Goose Lake area didn’t open until 1962
and 1970, respectively. The Dimond Center,
originally a small shopping center, opened in
1977, and the BP high rise that towers over
midtown Anchorage wasn’t built until 1985.
Anchorage’s population at the 1950 census
was 11,254 and the city hadn’t yet swallowed