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Regional Boards => Northwest => Topic started by: Bickendan on May 22, 2018, 03:01:33 PM

Title: Alaska
Post by: Bickendan on May 22, 2018, 03:01:33 PM
While I encourage more individual threads about Alaska projects, this thread can also be used for ease of access and discussion, particularly of statewide/regional importance.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on November 30, 2018, 12:57:24 PM
M7.2 (now M7.0) quake near Anchorage this morning; KFQD reports that at least one on-ramp along Minnesota Expwy. has "collapsed," but no details yet.

There's apparently also a collapse on the southbound Glenn Hwy., which is closed.

(http://media.graytvinc.com/images/810*544/earthquake+zoom.PNG)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on November 30, 2018, 04:55:00 PM
Mod note: non-roads related earthquake discussion is here (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24026).
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on November 30, 2018, 05:44:46 PM
Alaska DOT&PF's website has a page reporting updates on how the earthquake has and hasn't affected major roads:

http://dot.alaska.gov/earthquake2018/

Main items:

-- Seward Highway (AK 1 south of Anchorage) briefly closed several miles south of Anchorage due to rockslide, though it has since reopened. No mention of detour, so for a time there may have been no alternate route between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula

-- Glenn Highway freeway (AK 1 northeast of Anchorage) closed in at least one direction at Eagle River, detour available on local roads in Eagle River

-- One ramp of Glenn (AK 1)/Parks (AK 3) interchange closed, with detour to Palmer; other major damage to interchange

Highways more distant from Anchorage seem to be largely unaffected.

Some damage to Anchorage International Airport and closures of some roads to airport, but a reduced schedule of incoming and outgoing flights has resumed.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Bickendan on February 03, 2019, 08:34:58 AM
OSM intimates that closures on Minnesota Dr and AK 1 are still in effect; the link in Oscar's post updates to Dec 13. Any further updates since?
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on February 03, 2019, 11:29:55 AM
Anchorage Daily News reports on the start of work to build more than 600 miles of winter roads on the North Slope -- not just for drilling and mining, but also for public use to link several isolated communities to Utqiagvik (Barrow) or the Dalton Highway.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/energy/2019/02/02/companies-stretch-frozen-roads-across-alaskas-north-slope-as-hunt-for-oil-ramps-up/

Quote
In a separate effort, the North Slope Borough plans to connect four remote communities by snow road to the state’s highway system, expanding last year’s program, officials said.

Once the snow is packed down enough, pilot vehicles will guide trucks and cars through a wintry moonscape subject to blinding whiteouts and 40-below temperatures.

The borough-maintained roads will give residents an alternative to costly flights, and access to cheap big-city stores.

(https://www.adn.com/resizer/LBPSmNyYcnbc9wsYaTWaSpUDErE=/992x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-adn.s3.amazonaws.com/public/4AUREFU6HVGVBCTP3CTRSQ4II4.jpg)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on February 18, 2019, 07:41:05 PM
Anchorage Daily News has this look at building this season's 200-plus-mile ice road in and around Bethel, for use by the general public. Thanks to improved technology, there is speculation that this season's road could reach all the way to the Bering Sea.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/rural-alaska/2019/01/27/ice-road-along-kuskokwim-river-a-blessing-for-villages/

(https://www.adn.com/resizer/YTZGqG2-0cQyQd-15WGTBxQgCkM=/992x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-adn.s3.amazonaws.com/public/FYABJR4OJRDA3EZ3JBRTE6ULV4.jpg)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on February 18, 2019, 07:57:17 PM
OSM intimates that closures on Minnesota Dr and AK 1 are still in effect; the link in Oscar's post updates to Dec 13. Any further updates since?

Alaska 511 (more reliable than OSM, IMO) shows no closures anywhere on those routes, just varying degrees of winter driving conditions (from "good" to "difficult", but mainly "fair" in the Anchorage area).
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on April 09, 2019, 07:54:42 PM
Alaska DOT is implementing "lighting curfews" on relatively urban segments of some major highways, to use less electricity (conversion of lights to LEDs is also in the works):

http://dot.alaska.gov/comm/pressbox/arch_2019/PR19-0017.shtml

The plan is not novel, but the term "lighting curfew" is new to me.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 16, 2019, 09:38:11 PM
^^^ Is this because they simply can’t afford it or are they trying to conserve to be environmentally friendly?

In either case, I am surprised we haven’t seen at attempt from any city to install a network of motion sensors along streetlights to active them as they detect movement. I don’t know how viable it would be but it doesn’t seem like it would take all that much. With the smart technology they could “talk” to each other and detect a car traveling activating lights along the cars predicted path in the sight line of the driver for safety.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Duke87 on April 18, 2019, 12:37:51 AM
In either case, I am surprised we haven’t seen at attempt from any city to install a network of motion sensors along streetlights to active them as they detect movement. I don’t know how viable it would be but it doesn’t seem like it would take all that much. With the smart technology they could “talk” to each other and detect a car traveling activating lights along the cars predicted path in the sight line of the driver for safety.

Even with a vehicle moving at ~25 mph, the distance ahead that you want the driver to be able to see for safety is going to be greater than the range of a typical motion sensor. So this won't work without a more complex (read: more expensive) system to turn on lights further away from where motion is being detected.

As for "smart technology" and predicting the path of cars... no. Ordinary motion sensors, be they of the infrared variety or the ultrasonic variety, are not capable of determining what direction something is moving in. All they do is trigger when they detect a change in the feedback signal that exceeds a set threshold. To do something like this would require more advanced hardware and software that would be expensive... more expensive than the energy savings could justify, certainly if the lights have already been changed to LED.

You also have the issue that lights turning on and off in the driver's field of view presents a potential distraction, which of course is bad for safety.

Not to mention that street lights continually turning on and back off again over the course of the night may disrupt people's sleep.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on April 18, 2019, 12:45:17 AM
Even with a vehicle moving at ~25 mph, the distance ahead that you want the driver to be able to see for safety is going to be greater than the range of a typical motion sensor. So this won't work without a more complex (read: more expensive) system to turn on lights further away from where motion is being detected.

Not that it's exactly the same thing, but part of the Union Pacific Railroad multi-use trail in Henderson NV has lighting that's activated by motion sensors. The lights aren't completely dim when nobody's around, but when a cyclist approaches at night, the next few lights get brighter until the cyclist (or, presumably, pedestrian) has passed. It works because there aren't many different paths someone can take.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: roadfro on April 18, 2019, 01:39:48 AM
Even with a vehicle moving at ~25 mph, the distance ahead that you want the driver to be able to see for safety is going to be greater than the range of a typical motion sensor. So this won't work without a more complex (read: more expensive) system to turn on lights further away from where motion is being detected.

Not that it's exactly the same thing, but part of the Union Pacific Railroad multi-use trail in Henderson NV has lighting that's activated by motion sensors. The lights aren't completely dim when nobody's around, but when a cyclist approaches at night, the next few lights get brighter until the cyclist (or, presumably, pedestrian) has passed. It works because there aren't many different paths someone can take.
Another similarity: The University I work at has retrofit lighting in the parking garages to LED with individual motion sensors. The lights are usually dim when turned on, then each fixture brightens for a time as it individually senses motion.

With the garages at my work, the light fixtures are about 10-12 feet off the ground. I looked at a couple of spots along the above-mentioned trail in Street View, and the light poles seem to be no more than 15 feet tall. Both seem to be well in the range of typical motion detection. I'd guess an overhead motion detector on a street light fixture would be closer to 30-35 feet off the ground, which seems like it'd take a more sophisticated unit.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on April 18, 2019, 01:21:29 PM
This is an odd tangent for Alaska but I can see this working in tandem with connected vehicles. The lights will know you're coming.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Stephane Dumas on May 21, 2019, 02:48:52 PM
Any recent news about the Mid-Region Access who was planned to link Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg with BC-37/Cassiar highway? http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/mid_region/index.shtml
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on May 21, 2019, 03:03:56 PM
Any recent news about the Mid-Region Access who was planned to link Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg with BC-37/Cassiar highway? http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/mid_region/index.shtml

The state's current fiscal crisis probably means this project is even deader in the water than it already was.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Duke87 on June 04, 2019, 12:42:07 AM
The state's current fiscal crisis probably means this project is even deader in the water than it already was.

"Than it already was"

So... is the issue that the communities in question don't necessarily want it (a la Cordova)? Or that it'd be too expensive to be worthwhile even if the state had the money?
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on June 04, 2019, 01:51:25 AM
The state's current fiscal crisis probably means this project is even deader in the water than it already was.

"Than it already was"

So... is the issue that the communities in question don't necessarily want it (a la Cordova)? Or that it'd be too expensive to be worthwhile even if the state had the money?

More like British Columbia has been uninterested in and/or hostile to its part of the project.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Duke87 on June 04, 2019, 04:52:16 PM
More like British Columbia has been uninterested in and/or hostile to its part of the project.

Well it'd cost them money while providing little to no benefit to them, so... that's understandable.

Wonder how many miles you could shorten the ferry ride to Juneau by for the same price tag. That'd cut BC out of the picture, thus resolving that problem.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on June 05, 2019, 06:41:51 PM
Wonder how many miles you could shorten the ferry ride to Juneau by for the same price tag. That'd cut BC out of the picture, thus resolving that problem.

The Federal courts have been hostile to that idea (unjustifiably, IMO), which is was a major factor in the decision to pull the plug. No telling how they'd react to a new highway to BC, especially if it logically followed a river.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Duke87 on June 05, 2019, 07:35:04 PM
Wonder how many miles you could shorten the ferry ride to Juneau by for the same price tag. That'd cut BC out of the picture, thus resolving that problem.

The Federal courts have been hostile to that idea (unjustifiably, IMO), which is was a major factor in the decision to pull the plug. No telling how they'd react to a new highway to BC, especially if it logically followed a river.

So... point of clarity, I'm not speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Haines/Skagway. Rather, I'm speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Wrangell/Petersburg/Ketchikan.

Something like, say, building a road spanning the height of Admirality Island - that'd turn what's currently a 130 mile ferry ride to Petersburg into one 60 mile ferry ride, one short ferry ride only a few miles long, and a road between the two. Build a road on Kupreanof Island and you could get that 60 mile ferry ride down to under 15.

Was this actually considered as a potential alternative before deciding to try to build a road to BC instead?

Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on June 05, 2019, 07:56:13 PM
So... point of clarity, I'm not speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Haines/Skagway. Rather, I'm speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Wrangell/Petersburg/Ketchikan.

Something like, say, building a road spanning the height of Admirality Island - that'd turn what's currently a 130 mile ferry ride to Petersburg into one 60 mile ferry ride, one short ferry ride only a few miles long, and a road between the two. Build a road on Kupreanof Island and you could get that 60 mile ferry ride down to under 15.

Was this actually considered as a potential alternative before deciding to try to build a road to BC instead?

Don't know. I'm not sure planning got that far along.

My hunch (not having dived into the historical records) that you have several scattered segments of AK 7 between Haines and Ketchikan (including in Juneau and Petersburg) because the original pave-the-earth-era plan was to build highways linking them together. The ends of the Petersburg AK 7 segment (especially the south end, in the middle of nowhere) kind of look like logical places for bridges from Mitkof Island to the mainland or to Kupreanof Island.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Stephane Dumas on July 27, 2019, 12:43:42 PM
I wonder if the current ferry strikes might give second thoughts to some people?
https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/07/26/as-strike-continues-ferry-service-stoppage-has-a-big-impact-on-southeast-alaska-communities/

Quote
The Alaska Marine Highway System’s ferry network was halted for a third day Friday as hundreds of workers with the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific continued their strike over contract negotiations with the state.

Marine highway vessels “will not be sailing until further notice,” the state said on its website. By Thursday afternoon, all the state’s ferries were docked.

The shutdown has rendered unusable a crucial artery for moving people and goods around a large span of coastal Alaska. Vessels that move along the marine highway’s 3,500-mile route serve more than 35 coastal communities, many of which are not accessible by road. The ferries also carry vehicles and freight.

On Thursday, some people were trying to figure out how to get building supplies and other goods in and out of their towns, said Robert Venables, executive director of Juneau-based economic development group Southeast Conference.

“My phone and email have been blowing up since yesterday,” he said Thursday. The impact on the Southeast Alaska region is “severe, and it’s soon to be dramatically so,” he said.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on September 11, 2019, 10:13:19 PM
The Anchorage Daily News reports on a controversy over a proposed 200-mile mining road that would connect to the Dalton Highway northwest of Fairbanks:
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2019/09/11/conservationists-and-hunters-denounce-state-financed-mining-road-across-the-northern-alaska-wilderness

Quote
A state proposal to cut a roughly 200-mile mining road through the Northwest Alaska wilderness came under frequent fire at a hearing in Anchorage on Tuesday that launched a series of public meetings statewide.

Hunters condemned the proposed Ambler Road because it would be closed to the public. Conservationists said it would hurt caribou and other wildlife needed by villages in the region.

Close to 20 people spoke against the road. A few people expressed support, saying it would create jobs and state revenue.

The event, organized by the Bureau of Land Management, was the first of 22 public meetings over the next month in Alaska and Washington, D.C. Many of the meetings will be held in villages that could see significant impacts to subsistence hunting, the agency said.


(https://www.adn.com/resizer/QAu4_Ghzl28gzuXicMZjAvluNzE=/1200x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-adn.s3.amazonaws.com/public/KW3OH5Y3EBBSFKE3Q6K64T34G4.png)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: MNHighwayMan on September 12, 2019, 09:44:43 AM
If the road isn't going to be open to the public, then they can go pound sand, IMO.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Rothman on September 12, 2019, 09:49:14 AM
Eesh.  Funding is sketchy on this one all around.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on November 18, 2019, 11:01:38 PM
The Anchorage Daily News reports that conflicts are escalating over plans to upgrade an interchange on the Seward Highway (AK 1) at Scooter Avenue and Academy Drive.
https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2019/11/18/anchorage-assembly-members-at-odds-with-state-over-road-project/

Quote
Some Anchorage Assembly members are trying to foil a portion of a state highway project nearly 20 years in the making, saying it’s a waste of public dollars.

After feeling strong-armed by Alaska Department of Transportation officials, the Assembly members say they are appealing their case to local legislators and have even entertained the idea of building a barricade to thwart the state’s efforts.

Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar plans to introduce amendments at Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting that could remove initial funding for the project from the proposed bond.

The transportation department wants to connect Academy Drive to Scooter Avenue, south of Dimond Boulevard, by lifting the Seward Highway and building a road underneath. It’s part of a larger collection of projects to improve the Seward Highway that have been in the works since the early 2000s.

Project website: http://www.sewardhighway.info

(https://www.adn.com/resizer/CwsJT84z1HOA5TECIrcYbuA6YLQ=/992x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-adn.s3.amazonaws.com/public/4VTTBBVZFJAB5LY3SLAJ65DO4Y.jpg)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 20, 2020, 04:55:11 PM
Looking at Anchorage on streetview, they really need to get on the ball upgrading their freeway network.

AK 1 should have a bypass the entire city directly to the east and be a full freeway.

The Hickle Parkway should have a fully directional interchange with AK 1. Some properties will be needed for this but a stack would minimize that.

AK 3 should be upgraded to a fully controlled access facility through Wasilla.

AK 1 south should be a super two with a jersey barrier all the way to homer. I wouldn't necessarily make it entirely grade separated but it should be limited access for the most part.

Alaska should also really try and poise itself for growth and go big by adding a 4 lane interstate road between Fairbanks and Anchorage and connecting Juneau via fully controlled access super two to its highway system.

I am not from Alaska nor have I ever been... yet. Is it fair to say the state is anti-freeway/development or perhaps just won't allocate the funds?
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Bruce on January 20, 2020, 06:36:40 PM
The first priority for Alaska is to properly fund its Marine Highway system, which is way more essential for connectivity than upgrading the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor into a freeway.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 20, 2020, 07:17:23 PM
The first priority for Alaska is to properly fund its Marine Highway system, which is way more essential for connectivity than upgrading the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor into a freeway.
Thanks. I will research the proposals of this system tonight.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on January 20, 2020, 08:13:52 PM
Looking at Anchorage on streetview, they really need to get on the ball upgrading their freeway network.

AK 1 should have a bypass the entire city directly to the east and be a full freeway.

The Hickle Parkway should have a fully directional interchange with AK 1. Some properties will be needed for this but a stack would minimize that.

AK 3 should be upgraded to a fully controlled access facility through Wasilla.

AK 1 south should be a super two with a jersey barrier all the way to homer. I wouldn't necessarily make it entirely grade separated but it should be limited access for the most part.

Alaska should also really try and poise itself for growth and go big by adding a 4 lane interstate road between Fairbanks and Anchorage and connecting Juneau via fully controlled access super two to its highway system.

I am not from Alaska nor have I ever been... yet. Is it fair to say the state is anti-freeway/development or perhaps just won't allocate the funds?
It would be fair to say the other states don't want to contribute that many unnecessary billions upon billions of dollars for something Alaska can't afford and doesn't need?
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on January 20, 2020, 08:15:23 PM
Also, I missed it, but when did Minnesota Drive get renamed?
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on January 20, 2020, 08:41:15 PM
Also, I missed it, but when did Minnesota Drive get renamed?

At least the freeway part of Minnesota Dr., and also part or all of O'Malley Rd. west of AK 1, became the Hickel Parkway sometime in 2013 IIRC.

Looking at Anchorage on streetview, they really need to get on the ball upgrading their freeway network.

AK 1 should have a bypass the entire city directly to the east and be a full freeway.

The Hickle Parkway should have a fully directional interchange with AK 1. Some properties will be needed for this but a stack would minimize that.

AK 3 should be upgraded to a fully controlled access facility through Wasilla.

AK 1 south should be a super two with a jersey barrier all the way to homer. I wouldn't necessarily make it entirely grade separated but it should be limited access for the most part.

Alaska should also really try and poise itself for growth and go big by adding a 4 lane interstate road between Fairbanks and Anchorage and connecting Juneau via fully controlled access super two to its highway system.

I am not from Alaska nor have I ever been... yet. Is it fair to say the state is anti-freeway/development or perhaps just won't allocate the funds?
It would be fair to say the other states don't want to contribute that many unnecessary billions upon billions of dollars for something Alaska can't afford and doesn't need?

Agreed. The state isn't anti-highway, though its environmentalists are particularly noisy, and have blocked major projects such as the Juneau Access project that would have shortened (not eliminated) the ferry link to the mainland highway system. Also, while oil prices and revenues are down, and anti-tax politicians are in control, the state just doesn't have money for this stuff.

I think freeway-izing all of AK 3 between Palmer and Fairbanks, and AK 1 down to Homer, would be excessive, especially with the high road construction and maintenance costs in the Arctic, and high earthquake risks in the Anchorage area (which got whacked hard by a 9.2 earthquake in 1964). The other items on the list don't knock my socks off, either.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 20, 2020, 09:25:53 PM
Looking at Anchorage on streetview, they really need to get on the ball upgrading their freeway network.

AK 1 should have a bypass the entire city directly to the east and be a full freeway.

The Hickle Parkway should have a fully directional interchange with AK 1. Some properties will be needed for this but a stack would minimize that.

AK 3 should be upgraded to a fully controlled access facility through Wasilla.

AK 1 south should be a super two with a jersey barrier all the way to homer. I wouldn't necessarily make it entirely grade separated but it should be limited access for the most part.

Alaska should also really try and poise itself for growth and go big by adding a 4 lane interstate road between Fairbanks and Anchorage and connecting Juneau via fully controlled access super two to its highway system.

I am not from Alaska nor have I ever been... yet. Is it fair to say the state is anti-freeway/development or perhaps just won't allocate the funds?
It would be fair to say the other states don't want to contribute that many unnecessary billions upon billions of dollars for something Alaska can't afford and doesn't need?
Fair point, but what benefits Alaska will ultimately benefit the USA. I am not suggesting that every one of those items should start construction tomorrow. I would prioritize Anchorage first, then connecting Anchorage to Fairbanks better, than upgrading AK 1. The need might not be there today, but the potential is there.

Other countries with climates similar like Norway are able to build sophisticated freeway networks. While that isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison, it shows it can be done. I predict Alaska is a sleeping giant figuratively and literally. If temperatures continue to warm(why do I foresee NE2 responding to this? ;) ) then that will make Alaska even more attractive given its natural beauty and warmer climate.

So far it seems to be the synopsis here is Alaska isn't going anywhere, the odds are against it, therefore it isn't worth investing major infrastructure in. That hasn't stopped the US before.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: 1 on January 20, 2020, 09:37:19 PM
Other countries with climates similar like Norway are able to build sophisticated freeway networks. While that isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison, it shows it can be done. I predict Alaska is a sleeping giant figuratively and literally. If temperatures continue to warm(why do I foresee NE2 responding to this? ;) ) then that will make Alaska even more attractive given its natural beauty and warmer climate.

NE2 typically responds to people who deny global warming. You're on the other side, so you're fine.

I do see an error in your post, though. Let's see if NE2 can find it.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 20, 2020, 09:49:25 PM
Other countries with climates similar like Norway are able to build sophisticated freeway networks. While that isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison, it shows it can be done. I predict Alaska is a sleeping giant figuratively and literally. If temperatures continue to warm(why do I foresee NE2 responding to this? ;) ) then that will make Alaska even more attractive given its natural beauty and warmer climate.

NE2 typically responds to people who deny global warming. You're on the other side, so you're fine.

I do see an error in your post, though. Let's see if NE2 can find it.
I can see the irony in my post so I am sure he will find it!
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: texaskdog on January 20, 2020, 10:15:54 PM
Well, if it hasn't changed in 30 years, I think we're going to last more than 10.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: vdeane on January 21, 2020, 01:13:13 PM
Other countries with climates similar like Norway are able to build sophisticated freeway networks. While that isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison, it shows it can be done. I predict Alaska is a sleeping giant figuratively and literally. If temperatures continue to warm(why do I foresee NE2 responding to this? ;) ) then that will make Alaska even more attractive given its natural beauty and warmer climate.

So far it seems to be the synopsis here is Alaska isn't going anywhere, the odds are against it, therefore it isn't worth investing major infrastructure in. That hasn't stopped the US before.
Bear in mind that a warmer Alaska also means more mosquitoes.  And your Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor has an AADT less than 2000 (http://akdot.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=7c1e1029fdb64d7a86449d55ef05e21c&extent=-180,54.7188,-127.111,70.3005) (your proposed super-2 has three times as much traffic!).  I would like the freeway segments in Anchorage to be connected to a coherant system and AK 3 upgraded to a freeway through Wasilla, however.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: kphoger on January 21, 2020, 01:19:03 PM
what benefits Alaska will ultimately benefit the USA

meh

Perhaps, but what doesn't benefit Alaska will ultimately not benefit the USA.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: texaskdog on January 21, 2020, 02:48:36 PM
they get all that oil money they can afford to pay for it
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: kphoger on January 21, 2020, 02:52:37 PM
they get all that oil money they can afford to pay for it

How much money do you have?  I bet you can afford to buy me a new mattress.  What benefits kphoger benefits the USA.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on January 21, 2020, 02:56:10 PM
they get all that oil money they can afford to pay for it

The state isn't getting enough oil money, with lower oil prices and production. And it hasn't increased taxes (or siphoned money from the oil-funded Permanent Fund, also an unpopular idea) to offset that.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 21, 2020, 04:41:03 PM
Other countries with climates similar like Norway are able to build sophisticated freeway networks. While that isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison, it shows it can be done. I predict Alaska is a sleeping giant figuratively and literally. If temperatures continue to warm(why do I foresee NE2 responding to this? ;) ) then that will make Alaska even more attractive given its natural beauty and warmer climate.

So far it seems to be the synopsis here is Alaska isn't going anywhere, the odds are against it, therefore it isn't worth investing major infrastructure in. That hasn't stopped the US before.
Bear in mind that a warmer Alaska also means more mosquitoes.  And your Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor has an AADT less than 2000 (http://akdot.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=7c1e1029fdb64d7a86449d55ef05e21c&extent=-180,54.7188,-127.111,70.3005) (your proposed super-2 has three times as much traffic!).  I would like the freeway segments in Anchorage to be connected to a coherant system and AK 3 upgraded to a freeway through Wasilla, however.
Interesting. Thank you for the numbers. I suspected the ADT between the two cities was not that high but didn't realize it was under 2000. I suppose they could just go with a super two setup and plan for an eventual four lane widening in the future as the two cities grow. I did not realize AK 1 south of Anchorage sees that much traffic. Just shows how much I know about Alaska but upon looking at it on Google Maps it has the most disjointed freeway network I have ever seen which is to be expected I suppose.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: kphoger on January 21, 2020, 04:50:02 PM
I suspected the ADT between the two cities was not that high but didn't realize it was under 2000. I suppose they could just go with a super two setup ...

Why would a highway with less than 2000 ADT need to be a Super 2?

... and plan for an eventual four lane widening in the future as the two cities grow.

The population of the city of Anchorage peaked in 2013 and has been slowly declining since then.

The population of the city of Fairbanks peaked in 1993 and hasn't been above 33k since 1994.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: 1 on January 21, 2020, 04:50:55 PM
Since nobody figured it out... Alaska isn't literally a sleeping giant.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: kphoger on January 21, 2020, 04:54:50 PM
neither is Sarah Palin
[/ne2]
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 21, 2020, 04:57:12 PM
I suspected the ADT between the two cities was not that high but didn't realize it was under 2000. I suppose they could just go with a super two setup ...

Why would a highway with less than 2000 ADT need to be a Super 2?

... and plan for an eventual four lane widening in the future as the two cities grow.

The population of the city of Anchorage peaked in 2013 and has been slowly declining since then.

The population of the city of Fairbanks peaked in 1993 and hasn't been above 33k since 1994.
So it can easily be upgraded without much disruptions to traffic when the need is there for a widening. Plus this isn't just any route, it is the main route between the states two largest cities. Though they might be shrinking now that might not always be the case and I suspect it won't. Time will tell I suppose.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: kphoger on January 21, 2020, 05:04:01 PM
So it can easily be upgraded without much disruptions to traffic when the need is there for a widening.

Are you expecting the ADT to mushroom at some point?

~ or ~

Why on earth should tax dollars go to upgrading a 300-mile highway with less than 2000 ADT, if there is no reason to expect traffic volumes to increase beyond that figure?

Plus this isn't just any route, it is the main route between the states two largest cities.

I don't see how that matters.  2000 ADT is 2000 ADT.

Though they might be shrinking now that might not always be the case and I suspect it won't.

I don't think "might" and "Plutonic Panda suspects" are good reasons to upgrade a highway.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on January 21, 2020, 05:30:44 PM
I suspected the ADT between the two cities was not that high but didn't realize it was under 2000. I suppose they could just go with a super two setup and plan for an eventual four lane widening in the future as the two cities grow.

The overpasses would drive up the cost, with minimal benefit. Far less expensive to add passing lanes here and there. Even that isn't really needed except in the summer, when slow RVs can gum things up.

I've traveled that highway several times. It is one of Alaska's newer highways, and never cried out to me as needing major improvements except perhaps in the Wasilla area (east of there is already four-lane freeway all the way into Anchorage).

It also helps somewhat that the Alaska Railroad provides passenger service between Seward and Fairbanks via Anchorage. That's an option especially for commuters into Anchorage, and tourists.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 21, 2020, 06:33:46 PM
So it can easily be upgraded without much disruptions to traffic when the need is there for a widening.

Are you expecting the ADT to mushroom at some point?

~ or ~

Why on earth should tax dollars go to upgrading a 300-mile highway with less than 2000 ADT, if there is no reason to expect traffic volumes to increase beyond that figure?

Plus this isn't just any route, it is the main route between the states two largest cities.

I don't see how that matters.  2000 ADT is 2000 ADT.

Though they might be shrinking now that might not always be the case and I suspect it won't.

I don't think "might" and "Plutonic Panda suspects" are good reasons to upgrade a highway.
I get your points though among various things like planning for growth even if currently there isn't much going on doesn't hurt. Safety is another benefit of grade separation and having a solid, fully controlled access facility between the states two largest cities is a win-win all around, IMO. Sure it is what I suspect and I guess we will see where those cities go. Good planning never hurts.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: kphoger on January 21, 2020, 08:15:38 PM
I get your points though among various things like planning for growth even if currently there isn't much going on doesn't hurt. Safety is another benefit of grade separation and having a solid, fully controlled access facility between the states two largest cities is a win-win all around, IMO. Sure it is what I suspect and I guess we will see where those cities go. Good planning never hurts.

It's not a win-win when money that could be spent on more worthwhile projects gets wasted on upgrading a highway that doesn't need it.

Good planning never hurts, but building things that don't need to be built does hurt.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 21, 2020, 11:01:33 PM
I get your points though among various things like planning for growth even if currently there isn't much going on doesn't hurt. Safety is another benefit of grade separation and having a solid, fully controlled access facility between the states two largest cities is a win-win all around, IMO. Sure it is what I suspect and I guess we will see where those cities go. Good planning never hurts.

It's not a win-win when money that could be spent on more worthwhile projects gets wasted on upgrading a highway that doesn't need it.

Good planning never hurts, but building things that don't need to be built does hurt.
This was only my vision for Alaska. If what I proposed isn't needed now then it should be planned for, IMO.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on January 22, 2020, 12:25:40 AM
I get your points though among various things like planning for growth even if currently there isn't much going on doesn't hurt. Safety is another benefit of grade separation and having a solid, fully controlled access facility between the states two largest cities is a win-win all around, IMO. Sure it is what I suspect and I guess we will see where those cities go. Good planning never hurts.

It's not a win-win when money that could be spent on more worthwhile projects gets wasted on upgrading a highway that doesn't need it.

Good planning never hurts, but building things that don't need to be built does hurt.
This was only my vision for Alaska. If what I proposed isn't needed now then it should be planned for, IMO.
Please stop injecting your opinion for future unbuilt freeways - that belongs in the Fictional Highways part of the forum. A 2000 AADT on a 2-lane wilderness road does not need any help. Please limit discussion here to actual proposals. Thank you.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 22, 2020, 12:50:21 AM
I get your points though among various things like planning for growth even if currently there isn't much going on doesn't hurt. Safety is another benefit of grade separation and having a solid, fully controlled access facility between the states two largest cities is a win-win all around, IMO. Sure it is what I suspect and I guess we will see where those cities go. Good planning never hurts.

It's not a win-win when money that could be spent on more worthwhile projects gets wasted on upgrading a highway that doesn't need it.

Good planning never hurts, but building things that don't need to be built does hurt.
This was only my vision for Alaska. If what I proposed isn't needed now then it should be planned for, IMO.
Please stop injecting your opinion for future unbuilt freeways - that belongs in the Fictional Highways part of the forum. A 2000 AADT on a 2-lane wilderness road does not need any help. Please limit discussion here to actual proposals. Thank you.
Sure but perhaps you should be a bit more reasonable.

First off, this forum is littered with posts outside of the fictional sectional section with suggestions of what to do with freeways. While I can see your point about my opinions I’ll keep expressing them how I see fit. I don’t however wish to break forum rules and so I’ll make my second point.

2. If you bothered to read my initial post it were more of a question to what the plans were for Alaska and more specifically Anchorage’s plan. Maybe I didn’t phrase it right, maybe you felt I put too much emphasis on my suggestions, maybe you agree Kphoger my ideas are ridiculous.? Either way I didn’t post with simply a fantasy about what I’d like to see happen, I provided my opinions of what I’d like to see in a single post and in that same post asked about Alaska’s plans. I am well aware of the fantasy subsection and if I wanted to only provide my input I would have just done so with no questions.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on January 22, 2020, 01:02:50 AM
I understand. Please know I'm a moderator, and therefore I can break out the purple text: Back to on-topic discussion.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 22, 2020, 03:40:35 AM
Gotcha. Thought I was at any rate.  :coffee:
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Kniwt on February 22, 2020, 11:27:18 PM
Anchorage Daily News reports today on the Denali Park Road and how, despite assurances from the National Park Service, the road is becoming increasingly susceptible to landslides and other road-closing events:
https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/02/23/worries-about-the-fate-of-denali-park-road-persist-as-tourism-season-looms/

Quote
But dramatic changes are making the road increasingly vulnerable to landslides. The park service closed parts of the road multiple times last summer amid heavy rains, rockfall and mudslides, including an incident in August that left around 300 people and 17 buses stranded for a few hours about halfway down the road.

... A slowly advancing slide near the road’s halfway point, known as the Pretty Rocks landslide, is one of many areas along the road that is unstable.

Recent National Park Service surveys found that since September, the speed of the landslide at Pretty Rocks has increased dramatically: The road was slumping nearly 2 inches every day after August, according to a report from the park service.

... There are multiple solutions proposed for fixing the road, including rerouting a segment or building a bridge across the unstable areas, according to park service reports. Tunneling below the landslide or building up supports against landslides was deemed unfeasible.

(https://www.adn.com/resizer/Lc8c3Zo0igwz9q0qHXvCRv289Rw=/992x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-adn.s3.amazonaws.com/public/SUREXXFVMBBTZICTR34DNQMMWA.jpg)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 25, 2020, 12:00:14 AM
Washington Post [Washington, D.C.]: Steep budget cuts left Alaska with only one operating mainline ferry. Then it broke down. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/steep-budget-cuts-left-alaska-with-only-one-operating-mainline-ferry-then-it-broke-down/2020/02/23/56f7107e-4f4c-11ea-bf44-f5043eb3918a_story.html)

Quote
The change in the noise coming from the Matanuska’s engines was a clue something was wrong with the ferry. A peek out the window was confirmation.

Quote
“We were creeping along,” said Adrianne Milos, one of the passengers making what should have been a three-day trip from Bellingham, Wash., home to Alaska in late January.

Quote
The crew came on loudspeakers and announced they’d be bringing the ship into Juneau at half speed.

Quote
When they finally arrived, Milos, her husband and their cat, Squeaks, were only 70 miles from home in Haines, a small community up the Lynn Canal from Juneau. But they were effectively stranded.

Quote
A 30 percent budget cut imposed on the ferry system last year and unforeseen maintenance problems meant the Matanuska was the only mainline ferry operating on the Alaska Marine Highway System. Now it was broken down, presenting more than an inconvenience to Milos and fellow passengers: Communities already reeling from service cuts faced a month with next to no ferries at all.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: vdeane on February 25, 2020, 01:15:46 PM
Cordova?  Seems they'd be a lot better off if they had just finished AK 10, but why do I suspect they'd rather let the town die completely rather than finish the road?

The end of the article certainly makes the case for why elected officials are bad decision makers when it comes to transportation.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 25, 2020, 02:03:53 PM
The end of the article certainly makes the case for why elected officials are bad decision makers when it comes to transportation.

And there are apparently a lot of people unhappy with the current governor of Alaska, as there is an active effort to recall him from office (details can be found here (https://recalldunleavy.org/)).
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 28, 2020, 07:16:54 PM
This isn’t necessarily road related but isn’t mass transit either. Still, this worthy of a mention as a 1,600 rail line will be built from Alaska to the US. I’m not sure if the entire rail line will have to be constructed or it already exists for the most part and only needing a permit to cross the border. Either way, this seems like a pretty big deal.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/09/26/trump-tweets-intent-to-issue-permit-for-rail-line-connecting-alaska-to-canada-and-rest-of-us/
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on September 28, 2020, 07:45:06 PM
This isn’t necessarily road related but isn’t mass transit either. Still, this worthy of a mention as a 1,600 rail line will be built from Alaska to the US. I’m not sure if the entire rail line will have to be constructed or it already exists for the most part and only needing a permit to cross the border. Either way, this seems like a pretty big deal.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/09/26/trump-tweets-intent-to-issue-permit-for-rail-line-connecting-alaska-to-canada-and-rest-of-us/

Most of it is unbuilt, including all of the Yukon segment, everything in Alaska east of Delta Junction, and everything in British Columbia northwest of Dease Lake. There is some partially developed right of way between Fairbanks and Delta Junction, and southeast of Dease Lake, but no tracks.

As the linked article notes, one possible use of the new rail line is for the export of oil from Alberta's oil sands. Especially given the history of the planned Keystone pipeline from Alberta to Texas, this is guaranteed to stir up intense controversy.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: zzcarp on September 28, 2020, 08:17:17 PM
This CBC article (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/a2a-railway-1.5740678) gives more information about the routing:

Quote
The project would build a new rail line from Fort McMurray, Alta., through the Northwest Territories and Yukon to the Delta Junction in Alaska, where it will connect with existing rail and continue on to ports near Anchorage.

Googling from that article, I found a website a2arail.com (http://a2arail.com) where they have maps of the proposed routes. Looks like it will avoid Whitehorse entirely and also cut a new terrain route along the BC/NW Territories border and through Alberta to Ft. McMurray.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50395953181_2233654ebe_k.jpg)
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: vdeane on September 28, 2020, 08:33:09 PM
I wonder what the potential for Amtrak service would be if this gets done.  I could see Canada pushing for an auto train running between Alaska and the rest of the US "just in case", given their recent experiences with the Alaska exemption to their ban on non-essential border crossings - especially since the experts consider another pandemic to be a matter of when not if.

Aside from that, I also remember when the lack of a rail connection between Alaska and the rest of the continent was cited as a challenge for a Bering Strait rail tunnel.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on September 28, 2020, 09:04:39 PM
It's going to take more than 4 days to get to Anchorage by rail, why is it a benefit to be 4 days closer to Asia...
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: mgk920 on September 29, 2020, 04:26:53 AM
IIRC, from discussions that I have followed over the past several years, it is indeed to allow the Canadians to export Tar Sands oil to Asia.  However, there is no place left to build a commercial sea port on Canada's west coast.

What they propose to do is to build a standard gauge railroad from the Fort McMurray, AB area to Delta Junction, AK in order to feed that oil into the Trans Alaska Pipeline.  The Pipeline is seeing a steady long-term decline in traffic volume due to the North Slope oil fields being played out, so there is capacity in it to carry the Tar Sands oil from Delta Junction to the sea port at Valdez, AK.

The expected volume of traffic that I have seen discussed could very well require that that rail line be built as double track, so it would certainly be doable from an economic standpoint and Delta Junction is close enough to the end of ARR's (Alaska Railroad) track at nearby Eielson Air Force Base, just southeast of North Pole, AK, that connecting them would not be a major stretch.

It is not proposed to go anywhere near the never completed BCOL line at Dease Lake, BC.

I suppose that once things are up and running, it could also be attractive to passenger operators to offer multi day excursions through some of the most wild and unspoiled scenery on the planet, much like Amtrak does on some of their current long distance runs (ie, the ever popular Empire Builder and California Zephyr), but it would primarily be a freight route.

Mike
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Stephane Dumas on September 29, 2020, 01:55:19 PM
I agree about Dease Lake, it could bring an opportunity to revive that project who could became an alternate link.  Also the proposed line will meet the CN line who was fermely known as Mackenzie Northern Railway (http://"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackenzie_Northern_Railway") and way back then as Great Slave Lake Railway who linked Alberta to Hay River, NWT.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: mgk920 on September 29, 2020, 02:19:38 PM
I agree about Dease Lake, it could bring an opportunity to revive that project who could became an alternate link.  Also the proposed line will meet the CN line who was fermely known as Mackenzie Northern Railway (http://"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackenzie_Northern_Railway") and way back then as Great Slave Lake Railway who linked Alberta to Hay River, NWT.

CN took over the BCOL (British Columbia Railway) several years ago, too.  I'm not sure how interested they'd be in ever completing BCOL's partially built line to Dease Lake.

Mike
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: oscar on September 29, 2020, 02:33:32 PM
IIRC, from discussions that I have followed over the past several years, it is indeed to allow the Canadians to export Tar Sands oil to Asia.  However, there is no place left to build a commercial sea port on Canada's west coast.

That didn't stop the effort to build a pipeline to the coast across British Columbia. First Nations in the way of the pipeline route were the main problem.

Could existing ports in BC, including Stewart's deep-water port, handle extra volume from the tar sands oil?

CN took over the BCOL (British Columbia Railway) several years ago, too.  I'm not sure how interested they'd be in ever completing BCOL's partially built line to Dease Lake.

One of the reasons it's only partially built is that the potentially exportable resource from the Dease Lake area was asbestos. That market died around the time BCOL pulled the plug on the Dease Lake line.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: The Ghostbuster on September 29, 2020, 03:39:45 PM
Even if this project is fully funded (which I'm skeptical it will be), how many years of construction will it take to complete the route? If all goes smoothly (which pretty much never happens), I'd say this line probably won't open for at least a few decades, at minimum. With all the litigation I expect this project will endure, it might be faster to walk the entire length of the project, and carry all the freight via muscle power than to do it by train along this corridor.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: mgk920 on September 29, 2020, 03:49:11 PM
Even if this project is fully funded (which I'm skeptical it will be), how many years of construction will it take to complete the route? If all goes smoothly (which pretty much never happens), I'd say this line probably won't open for at least a few decades, at minimum. With all the litigation I expect this project will endure, it might be faster to walk the entire length of the project, and carry all the freight via muscle power than to do it by train along this corridor.

Yes, I know that there was a strong incentive to get it done (a establish a supply route that was out of range of enemy fire from the Pacific Ocean), the original Alaska Highway was completed and opened in less than one year.

Mike
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Bruce on September 29, 2020, 07:16:53 PM
I suppose that once things are up and running, it could also be attractive to passenger operators to offer multi day excursions through some of the most wild and unspoiled scenery on the planet, much like Amtrak does on some of their current long distance runs (ie, the ever popular Empire Builder and California Zephyr), but it would primarily be a freight route.

Realistically, I think a private operator like the Rocky Mountaineer will be the first to try and set up an Alaskan excursion on the line. They already run on routes that don't have Amtrak/VIA service.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: triplemultiplex on October 05, 2020, 01:25:43 PM
The consequences of this rail project would go far beyond the direct impacts of laying track through the wilderness.

Funny that oscar mentioned a proposed rail project that would have served an extraction industry in the same region; one where the material was found to be extremely detrimental to our well being.  So we left it in the ground.  And the rail project was cancelled.
Seems like a blueprint worth duplicating.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: splashflash on October 05, 2020, 11:23:42 PM
IIRC, from discussions that I have followed over the past several years, it is indeed to allow the Canadians to export Tar Sands oil to Asia.  However, there is no place left to build a commercial sea port on Canada's west coast.

That didn't stop the effort to build a pipeline to the coast across British Columbia. First Nations in the way of the pipeline route were the main problem.

Could existing ports in BC, including Stewart's deep-water port, handle extra volume from the tar sands oil?

CN took over the BCOL (British Columbia Railway) several years ago, too.  I'm not sure how interested they'd be in ever completing BCOL's partially built line to Dease Lake.

One of the reasons it's only partially built is that the potentially exportable resource from the Dease Lake area was asbestos. That market died around the time BCOL pulled the plug on the Dease Lake line.

The northwest extension of BC Rail was abandoned in the mid 1970's.  Coal, copper concentrate and asbestos were commodities that were projected to be extracted to justify the line.   Asbestos extraction stopped around 1992 while copper extraction only started large-scale in 2014.  Coal extraction never materialized because of price-drops and more recently First Nations opposition.  The line extends a ways beyond Fort St. James for forestry products, but likely not for mineral commodities.  The roadbed is still visible in many locations.

The projected line would completely bypass BC and likely not connect to the former BCRail, CN Fort Nelson extension.

Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: hurricanehink on October 05, 2021, 11:05:54 AM
Have there been any updates/discussions on the Glenn to Seward Highway connection in Anchorage? This seems to be one of the largest potential transportation projects in the state, by virtue of affecting its largest city.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Alps on October 05, 2021, 05:56:22 PM
Have there been any updates/discussions on the Glenn to Seward Highway connection in Anchorage? This seems to be one of the largest potential transportation projects in the state, by virtue of affecting its largest city.
Last time I heard of it being seriously proposed it died again.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: froggie on October 23, 2021, 11:31:10 AM
Speaking of highway connections, I recently discovered a project to build a DDI at the Steese Expwy/Johansen Expwy junction in Fairbanks (https://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/steese-johansen/).  The Steese (AK 2) would be the through route.  The project will also build a backage road connection between Farmers Loop Rd and the Johansen/Northside Blvd intersection.  Construction isn't expected before 2024.
Title: Re: Alaska
Post by: Quillz on October 24, 2021, 03:06:28 AM
I've been to Fairbanks a few times and that intersection does get a lot of traffic, much more than I would have expected for a small town. A DDI makes sense.