cross Academy Drive under the highway. On
the west side of the highway, a short street
previously known as Abbott Road has been
renamed because it didn’t connect to Anchorage’s bigger Abbott Road. The new name is
Scooter Drive, after a family’s cat that lived on
Instead of diverging diamonds, the new
Scooter/Academy interchange will move traffic under the highway with a pair of roundabouts. A similar traffic pattern was built this
summer to create more cross corridor connectivity where 76th Avenue and Lore Road
meet under the Seward Highway. There is a
pair of roundabouts and a new road under
the newly-raised highway.
Construction on the northern third of the
project, from Tudor Road to Dowling Road,
was completed in 2013. The second third, between Dowling and Dimond, started in 2017.
That section should be substantially completed by the end of the 2018 construction season, Baski says. Some landscaping and finish
work may take place in 2019.
To minimize traffic backup during construction during the previous two stages of
construction, work crews rebuilt frontage
roads along the highway first and then directed
traffic down the frontage roads while working
on the main stem of the highway, Baski says.
The final third of the project will be more
difficult because there’s no frontage road on
the west side of the highway, he says. During construction, workers will build a new
frontage road on the west side of the Seward
Highway from Dimond Boulevard to Scooter Drive, in front of the recently-shuttered
Sam’s Club store. There won’t be an access
road on the west side of the highway south of
Scooter Drive because the area is a residential
subdivision which is accessed from the east
side, on Old Seward Highway.
The first two construction contracts have
gone to QAP, a subsidiary of the French COLAS
Group. The design contract for all three stages
of the project was won by Colorado engineering
firm CH2M, which was purchased by Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group in December.
Combined, the total project cost for the
three highway sections is expected to be
about $280 million. The total project cost
includes construction as well as design and
the expense of purchasing right-of-way from
landowners and relocating utilities like water
pipes and electricity wires.
Under a formula common with highway
construction projects, the federal government
will pay for 90 percent of the cost, with the
state covering the remainder. State funding
for the final third hasn’t yet been approved.
For additional information, the website for
the Seward Highway construction project is
sewardhighway.info. The website for the future construction project along the corridor in
midtown is midtowncongestionrelief.com. R
Sam Friedman is a freelance writer in
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