• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 1s

Glenn Highway expanding to three lanes near Eagle River

By Alexis Fernandez Photojournalist: John Thain - 5:24 PM July 29, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

A major artery connecting Anchorage to the Mat-Su Valley is about to get wider.

For Eagle River resident Carolyn Ellis, the commute into Anchorage is part of everyday life. But that doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable.

“It’s just such a pain because it gets so jammed up all the time,” Ellis said.

It’s especially an issue near Hiland Road in an area known as “Brake Light Hill.”

“It’s like a snake going down there; you can just see all of the tail lights all lit up as you’re going down,” she said.

Over the years, it’s lived up to its reputation.

“When you have inclement weather, people want to slow down, and then you have that steep grade, so it can be a little treacherous if it is slippery and people are hitting their brakes, and you know they can fishtail,” said Shannon McCarthy, a spokesperson with the Alaska Department of Transportation.

This drive is about to change for 52,000 drivers who commute through this area each day.

In a couple of weeks, DOT crews will begin work on a the $42.5 million state-funded Glenn Highway Capacity Improvement Project.

The first phase: constructing a new three-mile, three-lane highway heading north between Hiland Road and Artillery Road.

“This project will actually flatten that grade out and create a new bridge over Eagle River,” McCarthy said.

The old section of the highway will become frontage road connecting the Hiland area to VFW Road.

“Many people are getting off at Eagle River, so it will be a huge improvement in terms of folks’ daily commute and safety improvement,” she said.

Although the bulk of construction won’t begin until next year, groundwork will begin in August.

“What you’re going to see is a lot of clearing — that area between the north and southbound lanes will be cleared and there will be some excavation, and then they will start working on the new bridge,” McCarthy said.

Some of that work will include clearing 20 acres of trees on an island in the middle of the highway. There will, however, be no road closures this year.

For Ellis, it’s a drive she’s looking forward to.

“Just to open it up more, to save time on commuting so much every day,” Ellis said.

The first phase of the project will be completed by fall of 2015.

Once the state approves additional funding, crews will begin work on the expansion of the southbound lane.

Latest Stories

  • News

    2 survive plane crash between villages in Southwest Alaska

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 7:57

    Two people in a small airplane survived a crash between southwest Alaska villages. Alaska State Troopers say a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the downed aircraft early Monday night. Investigators say the airplane left Dillingham on a flight to Port Heiden but landed in Pilot Point because of bad weather. The airplane took off again from […]

  • News

    Anchorage drivers weigh in on proposed red light camera ballot initiative

    by Daniella Rivera on Jan 17, 7:46

    What can be done about red light runners in Anchorage? Vice Chairman of the Anchorage Assembly Dick Traini says it’s a question he frequently hears from constituents. That’s why he and Anchorage Assembly Chair Elvi Gray-Jackson have submitted an ordinance that would let voters decide whether to allow the municipality to use cameras to ticket […]

  • Politics

    Interior nominee Zinke to be questioned on public lands, coal

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:54

    Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke says he would never sell, give away or transfer public lands, an important stance in the West where access to hunting and fishing is considered sacrosanct. But Zinke’s commitment to public lands has come into question recently and is likely to be a point of contention Tuesday as a Senate committee […]

  • News

    Alaska’s population climbing despite net migration loss

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:41

    Alaska’s population is climbing despite the fact that more people are moving away from the state than moving in. KTOO-FM reports that according to a Department of Labor report released Thursday, Alaska’s population has grown slightly due to births, though net migration remains down. Net migration – the number of people moving two Alaska minus […]

  • Esteban Santiago ordered held without bond

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:37

    Last updated at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 The man suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at a Florida airport has been ordered held without bond. During a Tuesday morning hearing in Fort Lauderdale, an FBI agent confirmed that the 9 mm gun used in the Jan. 6 shooting rampage […]

  • Sports

    Ryne Olson wins Copper Basin 300

    by Dave Goldman on Jan 16, 21:09

    If you follow trends, this was a no-brainer. In the past two years, Ryne Olson has taken third and second place at the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race. Like a blue chip, which grows slowly and consistently over time, this one found its highest point yet. Now you can call her a Copper Basin 300 champion. […]

  • Politics

    ‘It’s time to pull together’: Alaskans plan to attend Women’s March on Washington

    by Eric Ruble on Jan 16, 19:36

    The final preparations are underway for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Friday. However, a few hundred thousand people are expected to participate in a separate event happening the next day in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the Women’s March on Washington – according to its organizers – is to send a […]

  • News

    Red Cross volunteers install free smoke detectors for MLK Day

    by Shannon Ballard on Jan 16, 19:09

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day not only honors the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader, it also offers opportunities to translate his words into action. On Monday, that sense of volunteerism and community was felt in the South Park Estates trailer park off Arctic Boulevard. A group of about a dozen people with […]