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DOT&PF Updating State's Road Classifications

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has begun its periodic review and update for the functional classification of all public roads throughout Alaska.

DOT&PF, responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining more than 14,000 miles of public roads, uses functional classification as a planning tool to manage road development, safety and maintenance. Classifying roads can also affect emergency relief funding sources and project ranking, scoring and potential, future funding.

According to Lisa Idell-Sassi, DOT&PF's Road Network Services Manager, streets and highways are classified based on the service they are intended to provide. There are three basic classification terms: arterial roads provide mobility and allow traffic to move from one place to another quickly and safely; collector roads link arterials with local roads; and local roads provide access to homes, businesses and other properties.

"Classifying roads according to the function each serves in the overall transportation network provides us an efficient and effective planning mechanism for organizing, developing and maintaining our road systems," Idell-Sassi explained.

Idell-Sassi said this project ensures that all public roads are assigned an appropriate federal functional classification, and that those roads serving as a collector or arterial routes are tracked in DOT&PF's road system database.

The most recent statewide functional classification update was completed and 1993. Since then, there have been changes involving land use, travel patterns and traffic volumes.

Functional classification is one of many factors considered when evaluating projects for Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funding. Functional classification also affects the amount of local match a community may be responsible for when a project is being funded under the STIP.

The DOT&PF has established a website for the project at www.dot.state.ak.us/stwdplng/fclass/ .

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