• 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

    Quarles named Alaska production manager for ExxonMobil

    by Associated Press on Aug 03, 16:28

    ExxonMobil Production Co. has a new manager for the company’s business interests in Alaska. Cory Quarles replaces Karen Hagedorn as Alaska production manager. According to a release, Quarles joined ExxonMobil in 1998 and last year was appointed global facilities engineering manager of ExxonMobil Production Co. ExxonMobil is one of the major players on Alaska’s North […]

  • Lifestyle

    Bristol Bay Native Corporation announces fuel businesses purchase

    by Associated Press on Aug 03, 16:09

    Officials with Bristol Bay Native Corp. are announcing the purchase of two fuel businesses in Dillingham. Officials say the acquisitions of Bristol Express Fuels Inc. and Bristol Commercial Properties LLC were completed Friday. According to the Native corporation, Bristol Alliance Fuels will operate a nearly 3 million-gallon tank farm, a Bristol Express retail gas station […]

  • News

    Authorities in Fairbanks search for man who jumped into Chena River

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 03, 14:15

    Fairbanks authorities are searching for a 30-year-old man who went missing after jumping into the Chena River Sunday evening. Sunday around 8:20 p.m., Tyler Cover of Fairbanks and another male jumped into the river from the foot bridge by Golden Heart Park, said Fairbanks spokesperson Amber Courtney in a release. Cover reportedly tried to swim […]

  • DayBreak

    Story time with Aunt Phil, Aug. 3

    by Daybreak Staff on Aug 03, 14:00

      From gold nuggets to tops and accessories, an acclaimed fashion specialty chain has its roots in the Alaskan gold rush. Laurel Downing Bill, author of the “Aunt Phil’s Trunk” book series, joined Daybreak Monday with a history lesson on the popular retailer, Nordstrom. “You might not know that Nordstroms can trace its roots back […]

  • News

    For now, Alaska exempt from climate change regulations from Obama, EPA

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 03, 13:39

    For now, Alaska is exempt from a major climate change plan — set to move America toward a more clean energy economy. Monday, President Barack Obama released the final version of the “Clean Power Plan,” – which requires states to aid in cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by the year 2030. The plan sets the first-ever […]

  • Weather

    The fireweed forecast

    by Rachael Penton on Aug 03, 12:02

    If you’ve spent even a little time in Alaska during the summer then you’ve probably noticed it … everywhere! We’re talking about fireweed, and it’s almost bloomed to the top. “When fireweed goes to cotton, summer is soon forgotten.” Winter is on its way out whether you believe that old saying or not, and this year […]

  • Lifestyle

    World’s best woodcarvers compete in Alaska Cup

    by Eric Ruble on Aug 03, 10:46

    Woodcarving is an art form a little bit louder than most. Armed with chainsaws and blowtorches, artists at the Alaska Cup Carving Competition worked their way through massive chunks of spruce to form their masterpieces. The four-day event, now in its second year, was hosted by the Turnagain Gallery near Bird Creek on the Seward […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Aug. 3

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 03, 9:06

    Anchorage Mostly sunny with highs in the low to mid 70s. Light winds. Kenai and Prince William Sound Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Southeast Mostly cloudy with rain showers. Highs in the 60s and 70s. Interior Mostly sunny with highs in the 70s. North Slope Cloudy with rain showers […]