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Begich Brings Federal Funds to Lake Otis & Tudor Fix

Busy intersection breaks ground on congestion relief project

Federal funding will make up the largest portion of a $23 million makeover of one of Anchorage's most dangerous and congested intersections, Lake Otis and Tudor, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a longtime champion of the project, said today at the groundbreaking.

"This is a great day for Anchorage motorists as we break ground on improvements for this congested intersection that ties up traffic and slows progress every day in Alaska's largest city," Begich said. "We'll have some short-term pain during construction, but long-term gain for keeping the economy moving when it's complete."

The Lake Otis & Tudor upgrade includes adding turn lanes, traffic signals, transit facilities and pedestrian safety improvements. Begich noted the partnership of local, state and federal dollars made the project possible. The nearly $23 million makeover is a combination of several funding sources including:

·         $8.5 million federal investment;
·         $7.5 million municipal road bonds;
·         $5.0 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act);
·         $1.8 million state grants.

"This is the result of many agencies working together and committing resources for an important project. I also want to thank the voters of Anchorage who, in 2005, agreed this intersection needs fixing and approved the road bonds to make it happen," Begich said.

With nearly 80,000 vehicles moving through the intersection each day, Lake Otis and Tudor has continually made the list of busiest intersections in Anchorage. The Lake Otis & Tudor project is part of an overall congestion relief package for Anchorage involving three other major projects; the extension of Elmore Road (formerly Bragaw); Dowling east; and the 48th & Boniface extension to be completed this summer. Road engineers at both the state and local level have long said the four projects together would result in major improvements of traffic flow in midtown and east Anchorage.

Sen. Begich noted Lake Otis and Tudor is just one of several transportation projects with federal dollars moving forward this summer. Over $300 million federal dollars will be invested in roads, bridges, airports and transit projects. Some of the others include:

§  $25 million in  improvements to the Parks Highway between Willow Creek and the Kashwitna River;
§  Nearly $12 million in improvements on the Glenn Hwy;
§  Nearly $7 million fixing Sterling Highway between Soldotna and Kasilof;
§  $12.9 million for the reconstruction and realignment of Dillingham's Wood River Road;
§  $11.2 million for reconstruction and widening of the Glacier Highway in Juneau;
§  $4.8 million for road work in Nome

"These transportation investments mean not only the smooth movement of goods and services throughout our state, but also hundreds of jobs created for Alaskans," Begich said.

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