Students: Patrick Boyle, Meghanne Faulise, Jamie Gorman, Joseph Horazdovsky, Travis Holmes, Sophia Huff, Megan LeNorman, Patricia Rowse
Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead: Osama A. Abaza
Client Organization: State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
The U-MED district is located in northeast Anchorage, Alaska. It has been identified as one of the largest growing employment centers in Anchorage and is expected to continue to grow over the next 20 years. From DOWL’s 2011 Reconnaissance Report, approximately 43% of the people traveling into this district make their trip from the north or east. With the current surrounding arterial roads connectivity, safety, and congestion are major concerns.
The purpose of this project is to provide better access to the U-MED district. With the addition of a road in the area, out-of-direction travel will be reduced; meaning faster travel times, less congestion, less air emissions, and safer surrounding intersections. Department of Transportation and DOWL-HKM have recognized three very specific needs for this project.
- no direct access from the north or east
- arterial roads around the district are over capacity
- roads operate at poor levels of service during peak hours and the intersections have elevated crash rates
With the addition of a road through this area, DOT believes that these issues can be fixed making this district ready for the projected growth.
Out of the four proposed alternatives provided by DOWL and DOT, the group selected an alternative that met the needs and requirements of the projects. Since the selected alternative compromised the wetlands in the area, debit and credit calculations had to be done in order to replace the destroyed wetlands. In order to mitigate the impact to the wetlands, research was completed on the hydrology of the area. A drainage report on the area was done and it found that water moves into the area from the Chester Creek Watershed coming down from the Chugach Mountains. After the water infiltrates and is held in the wetlands, it flows out of Anchorage and into the Knik Arm.
In the project it was found that there were four major concerns coming from the public: noise, trails, environment, and making sure the road is not a speed corridor.
- Rubberized asphalt; helps reduce rutting, thermal cracking, and it helps with noise reduction
- A pedestrian overpass to accommodate the recreational activities that go on the in area.
- Road will have traffic calming features that naturally reduce the speed of the road