Huffman Project Completed 1 Year Ahead of Schedule
Alaska DOT&PF Achieves Early Completion of Huffman Road Reconstruction Project
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) announced the substantial completion of the Huffman Road reconstruction project in south Anchorage. Although originally scheduled for completion in 2012, this challenging reconstruction project was built in just one construction season, thereby reducing construction-related traffic impacts and accelerating the delivery of project benefits.
The project extended from the Old Seward Highway easterly through the New Seward Highway, continuing toward the hillside through Lake Otis Blvd. to Wagner Street.
The project was scoped to rehabilitate the roadway and adjacent asphalt and gravel multi-use pathways, including drainage improvements, new curb and gutter, new curb ramps that meet American with Disabilities requirements, signing and striping. The project also included construction of three new roundabouts; at the intersection of Huffman Road and Brandon Street and at the north- and south-bound ramps to the New Seward Highway. These roundabouts replaced the pre-existing 4-way traffic signals at these locations.
“I’m thrilled to have this project delivered this year,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Marc Luiken. “This project will be a big improvement for south Anchorage and Hillside commuters and for the Huffman business district. To have it delivered a year earlier is a real tribute to our project managers and our contractor.”
Early delivery of the project was enabled through careful coordination of construction sequencing and the full use of two planned intersection closures for construction of the roundabouts. And while business access was maintained throughout the construction, the project presented unavoidable challenges to businesses and residents along the alignment. The patient cooperation of those affected was also key to early project delivery.
“We worked hard to maintain business access and to reduce our impacts to the neighborhoods,” said DOT&PF Project Engineer Shaun Combs. “I think the folks realized that we were trying to get finished and out of their way as fast as possible, and they really helped us get there. We appreciated their support.”
The project included three distinct sections.
The middle segment, from the New Seward Highway to Lake Otis Parkway, was expanded to three lanes to accommodate a center left-turn lane. It includes a multi-use asphalt pathway on the north side and a concrete sidewalk on the south side, right-turn pockets for eastbound and westbound traffic on Huffman Road at the Lake Otis Parkway intersection, a left-turn pocket for eastbound traffic turning onto Gregory Road (serves Bowman Elementary School), upgraded pedestrian facilities to meet current ADA standards, curb and gutter on both sides, and drainage improvements.
Improvements to the easterly segment, from Lake Otis Parkway to Pintail Street, included reconstruction of the paved section, storm drain improvements, curb and gutter along both sides, a multi-use asphalt pathway along the north side and a gravel pathway along the south side. The eastern segment improvements transitioned into the recently-completed Municipality of Anchorage improvements to the intersection of Pintail Street/Cange Street and Huffman Road.
Improvements to the west business segment, from the New Seward Highway to the Old Seward Highway were more complex and required a creative approach. This section includes roundabouts at four intersections (three within the scope of this Huffman Road project and one constructed earlier as part of an Old Seward Highway improvement project). This section was built with four traffic lanes and a 16-foot center left-turn lane between Industry Way and the eastbound approach median to the Brandon Street intersection. It also includes continuous lighting, a multi-use asphalt pathway on the north side and a concrete sidewalk on the south side, upgraded pedestrian facilities to meet current ADA standards, curb and gutter on both sides, and drainage improvements.
Deployment of 4 successive roundabouts through the business district between the Old and New Seward Highways is the first of its kind in Alaska. DOT&PF invited intensive public comment on the design proposal. “Out of the chute, the public was concerned about the multiple roundabouts, and we were too,” said Kim Rice, DOT&PF’s Director of Design and Construction. “We spent a lot of time with our design consultants and the public, looking at the potential risks and benefits of the roundabout series. It’s great to see it built and working so well now.”
The project contractor is Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP). Total projected project cost is $15 million. The construction crew will be working through the 2011 construction season to complete as much of their remaining ancillary work as possible. Activity during the 2012 construction season should be limited to landscaping and other minor enhancements.
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 33 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Get Alaska Moving by providing for the safe movement of people and goods and through the delivery of state services.