Thursday, October 15, 2009

A land planning alert from Roy Earnest

The Department of Transportation has several Ester-area projects on its slate. Roy Earnest sent me this note about the plans:
The STIP (Statewide Transportation & Improvement Program) is money set for the future at best and money that can be pulled at any time when it is at its worst. Please keep in mind that nothing is for certain when looking at monies set to future programs. The Gold Hill Bike trail in probably the firmest of the three projects that fall under STIP. Futher letters from the community are helpful but the ranking (or points given to the program) are high and the project looks like a go.

The Old Nenana and the Potter road project are both well place point wise but letter or comment to the DOT (specifically to Margaret Carpenter) are needed and necessary.

First, the Potter road to Destiny Drive (Name: Cripple Creek Road upgrade has an ID number 24522. The upgrade will use asphalt concrete to pave the existing gravel surface, including realignment of the substandard series of curves. The road will give better access to VFD and residents. The project is slated to begin and end work in 2010. If this upgrade interests or affect you directly please let Ms. Carpenter know at

The Old Nenana/Ester Hill Rehabilitation Project has an ID number of 7461

Project Description:
Rehabilitation along the ONH will include improving shoulders, drainage, signage, and guardrails.

1. The Old Nenana Highway has steep grades, narrow roadway (20-22 feet), poor pavement conditions, and steep slopes. The sharp curve at the bottom of the hill is an issue to the DOT so they are looking into safety-related improvemnets. Because this area is especially hazadous in the winter when the road gets icy, there is probably going to be some kind of change in this area.

2. Recreation traffic on the ONH has increased ten-fold. The UAF ski team, Fairbanks Cycling club and walkers are all users of the road. A bike trail would be the most safest answer the money nedded for this kind of upgrade is large.

3. Fairbanks North Star Borough continues to sell off large tracts of land. They are in the process of trying to build a subdivision with 31 lots on it. The increase trafic load in the next 5 years alone are staggering.


Widen the ONH wide enough for driver visibility and recreation users dafety. Upgrade the road to a asphalt surface that does not come apart every year due to substandard chipseal and poor foundation. Either a trail on the side or standalone seems appropriate.
The deadline for public comment is Friday, October 16. Please comment!

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