Palmer off-ramp to close for earthquake repairs
Currently down to one lane, the Palmer exit at the Glenn Highway and Parks Interchange, known as the “Palmer Flyover,” will shut down starting Tuesday morning.
The Alaska Department of Transportation says crews will repair the section of the off-ramp that collapsed in the November 30 earthquake.
"We wanted to wait until we had ideal conditions to go ahead and take out the bad material, put in good material, compact it, pave it and open it up," said department spokesperson Shannon McCarthy.
McCarthy says crews will also install a new guardrail.
"It is not ideal to do the really sophisticated road repair work in the middle of winter," McCarthy said. "The soils are frozen so we can't get as good of a compaction, paving in winter, you just don't get as good of a quality of project."
Some commuters said the repairs are holding up traffic and hope the department can finish quickly. McCarthy says that’s another reason why the repairs are happening now.
"We have the Alaska State Fair coming up at the end of August, early September, and we want to make sure the highway has enough capacity so people can get into Palmer, so they can go to that event," McCarthy said.
The off-ramp is one of four roads that suffered major earthquake damage. The others received temporary repairs. Traffic in and out of Palmer has also been affected by work to expand the Old Glenn Highway from the Parks Highway to Bogard Road.
"This is one of those ones that's a top priority for the department, it's a critical piece of infrastructure, we got right on it, there will be some more repairs next summer as well," McCarthy said.
The Department of Transportation says detours will be in place on Trunk Road to enter Palmer through Bogard Road or the Palmer-Wasilla Highway. McCarthy says crews will need about a week to complete the off-ramp project.
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