Alaska State Troopers' Bureau of Highway Patrol is moving its headquarters to Palmer, as drivers in the region face some of the state’s more dangerous roads.

Knik-Goose Bay Road was one of the areas cited by Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price in a statement Monday evening outlining the shift. The road, a key link between the Point MacKenzie area and Wasilla, is designated one of the state’s major public safety corridors but saw its deadliest year in a decade during 2018.

“Traffic safety remains a key component of our public safety mission, and the re-location of BHP to the Mat-Su Valley will allow us to focus efforts on some known problem areas like KGB Road,” Price said. “Troopers will still remain out in force in other areas of the state patrolling for traffic violators and unsafe driving, so drivers hoping for a change in enforcement levels should curb those expectations. Alaskans should continue to exercise safe driving practices and follow all traffic laws to ensure their safety, and the safety of others.”

Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said that the bureau’s headquarters is in Anchorage, forcing its three current troopers to commute to and from the Mat-Su before working on roads like KGB. Moving the headquarters will let troopers more easily focus on that area, as well as another corridor along the Parks Highway between Wasilla and Houston.

“Since there’s two public safety corridors in the Valley, it makes sense to have them out there,” DeSpain said. “It’ll give them more time to commit to the high-problem areas, the areas where there’ve recently been more serious accidents.”

Troopers from the bureau had been helping to fill a staff shortage at AST’s main Seward post, DeSpain said, but will now fall under jurisdiction of the Mat-Su’s B Detachment — which has been the subject of calls for more staffing from Mat-Su Borough officials last year.

The bureau also patrols two corridors south of Anchorage, including the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Girdwood as well as the Sterling Highway between Sterling and Soldotna.

The headquarters will be fully moved by Feb. 1.

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