Alaska DOT plans changes to Valley intersection

Open house scheduled for tonight

The intersection of Riverside Drive and Stephen Richards Drive is seen in the Mendenhall Valley on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The intersection of Riverside Drive and Stephen Richards Drive is seen in the Mendenhall Valley on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will host an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday night to hear from members of the public about plans to fix traffic congestion at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Stephen Richards Memorial Drive in the Mendenhall Valley.

The open house is scheduled to take place at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library.

According to DOT, changes are needed at the intersection because peak rush-hour delays are about two and a half times as long as the state’s goal for an intersection.

(The average vehicle waits for 89 seconds during morning and evening rush hours at the intersection. The goal is no more than 35 seconds.)

By 2040, according to DOT projections, that wait will be even longer unless DOT makes changes.

DOT is considering eight options for the intersection, including leaving it as-is. Alternatives include a roundabout, stoplight, adding turn lanes, or making it a two-way stop.

The Federal Highway Administration would pay 91 percent of the cost of any changes; the City and Borough of Juneau would pick up the remaining 9 percent. Potential total costs range between nothing to $1.8 million.

Construction could take place as early as 2020.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


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