Granite Construction Awarded Rebuild Contract for Knik Goose Bay Road
The 4-mile stretch of Knik Goose Bay Road to be upgraded (in red) runs through the most populous area in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, southwest of Wasilla.
Work begins this summer on long-awaited improvements to Knik Goose Bay (KGB) Road in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Granite Construction gets to do the job.
Congestion and Safety Upgrades
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) awarded Granite Construction a $54.5 million contract. The company will mobilize for Phase I through July and August. The work will reconstruct approximately 4 miles of the road from Centaur Avenue to West Fairview Loop, expanding the corridor to a four-lane divided roadway with four-foot inside shoulders and eight-foot outside shoulders and a separated multi-use pathway on the north side.
KGB Road currently has two lanes, stretching from the junction of the Parks Highway and Palmer-Wasilla Highway to the Goose Bay Airport approximately 20 miles away.
KGB was constructed on its current alignment in 1966. The corridor sees significant congestion and high collision rates, particularly during peak hours, due to limited capacity and a high density of driveway access. It is the main arterial for the Knik-Fairview area, the most populous unincorporated community in all of Alaska, with 19,297 residents as of the 2020 census, or more than double the population of Wasilla proper.
Congestion issues are expected to increase, spurred by development along KGB Road, future land development in the Point MacKenzie area, and continued population growth in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough generally. This project is being designed to accommodate both current needs and future capacity increases.
“Rebuilding KGB Road has been a priority for me as governor and as a resident of the Mat-Su Valley from the day I came into office,” says Governor Mike Dunleavy. “The new road will be safer with less congestion for the families living and working all along this corridor.”
To improve safety and reduce congestion, there will be breaks in the median between every half mile to mile. KGB Road has been a designated Traffic Safety Corridor since 2009 due to elevated rates of fatal and major injury crashes. Average daily traffic volumes are more than 19,000 vehicles per day near the intersection with Palmer-Wasilla Highway.
During construction, DOT&PF encourages travelers to exercise vigilance when traveling the KGB Road corridor.
This year the Alaska Railroad is celebrating 100 years of transportation people and cargo around Alaska. While the railroad is one of the states oldest transporters, it certainly isn’t the only one, and in this issue of Alaska Business we also check in on the Marine Highway, Span Alaska, and the White Pass & Yukon Route. For those interested in Southeast, our focus on that region provides updates on Kensington Mine, Tongass FCU, the troll fishery, and Juneau’s growing landfill.