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Two Mat-Su Groundbreakings, Back to Back

Two groundbreakings, back to back, kicked off this summer’s road construction season last week in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Bogard Road is the Borough’s most complex road project ever, and the Seldon & Lucille upgrade will put a roundabout into an intersection with poor visibility that has caused many vehicle accidents and near misses. In a five-year period, 37 vehicle accidents have occurred in this intersection(2007-2011), according to State Trooper reports.

Twindly Bridge Charter School Board Member Karen Olson, Assembly Member Jim Colver, and Sen. Charlie Huggins addressed the crowd at the Seldon & Lucille groundbreaking ceremony.

At the Bogard event the next day, Borough Manager John Moosey, Assembly Member Matthew Beck, Palmer Mayor DeLena Johnson, Rep. Shelley Hughes, and Rep. Bill Stoltze said a few words. The Borough’s Capital Project Department Director Mike Brown gave project overviews.

See the video on both groundbreakings. Here.

BOGARD

The Bogard Road Extension East will provide a second corridor to deliver traffic between Wasilla and Palmer, removing traffic from the overcrowded Palmer-Wasilla Highway, which has had the highest number of fatalities and major injuries per mile in Alaska.

Phase 1, from Glenn Highway-Arctic Ave to 49th State Street for $22 million is funded by a State appropriation. A swath is already cut through trees and brush. The contractor,  Scarsella Bros., will hold a public meeting before turning dirt this summer.

IMPROVEMENTS

• School access improvements at Palmer High School include a crosswalk with signal, a redesigned bus loop, and parking lot upgrades.

• Four frontage roads

• Utility relocation, including extension of Palmer City water mainline funded by separate State grant

• Lighted equestrian underpass

• Two-lane road with 8-foot paved shoulders and a separated pathway with room to expand to a four-lane road when needed.

Completion is scheduled for 2015.

PHASE 2

From N. Silver Creek Drive to North 49th State Street. Funded by $7 million in recent State Capital budget added by Rep. Bill Stoltze.

• Realignment of intersection

•Dedicated turn lanes for Colony High and Middle schools.

• Pedestrian tunnel

• Signalized crosswalk at N. Silver Creek Dr.

SELDON & LUCILLE

Total improvements will be $8.3 million. Voters approved road bonds in 2011 and legislators matched the funding.

IMPROVEMENTS

• A roundabout in the intersection of Lucille Street and Seldon Road

• A hill cut on Lucille will provide improved sight distances

• Wider shoulders

• Increased roadside clear zones

• A separated pathway

• Upgrade for one mile of Seldon Road

These are just two projects out of some $145 million in roads, schools, and public facilities underway in 2014.

For more information look on the Capital Project Department’s webpage http://www.matsugov.us/project for project specifics.

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