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.
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.
• 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.
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.
• 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.