The site of the Sterling Highway MP 45-60 Project is seen near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Sean Holland)

The site of the Sterling Highway MP 45-60 Project is seen near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Sean Holland)

Bypass project pushes ahead

People should expect traffic delays and construction noise when traveling through Cooper Landing this summer.

Trail access and upcoming construction were among the topics addressed during a public meeting for the Cooper Landing Bypass Project last week.

During a public meeting held remotely last Wednesday, workers with the Alaska Department of Transportation reminded people to expect traffic delays and construction noise when traveling through Cooper Landing this summer. Project managers, public involvement staff and civil engineers all presented during the meeting, which lasted for about two hours.

The noise and delays will be the result of construction by workers on the Sterling Highway MP 45-60 project, also known as the Cooper Landing Bypass Project. The project aims to reduce congestion on the Sterling Highway through Cooper Landing and to improve highway safety by bringing some existing roads up to current highway design standards by constructing an alternative route through the area.

About 10 miles of new road will be constructed starting at about MP 46.5 off the Sterling Highway and will cross Juneau Creek before rejoining the highway around MP 56.

Bypass construction work is scheduled to increase in 2021, including the beginning of reconstruction on the main highway as part of Phase 1A of the project, continued clearing of the off-alignment and staging areas, grading and draining work on sections of the new road and the improvement of sections of the pioneer road.

Project leaders urged people Wednesday to “Know Before You Go” if your travel through the area may be disrupted by construction work. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will notify the public about upcoming construction. can be used to check construction status. 511.Alaska.Gov can be used to check road conditions and can be used to check on project updates.

Those traveling should expect additional trucks on the road transporting materials from Soldotna and Anchorage, drilling and blasting with noise mitigation measures in place and minor trail reroutes during bridge access work.

One of the biggest design changes announced by project leaders during Wednesday’s meeting is the intersection on the bypass’ east side. That area initially had “T” intersections, but will now feature a westbound left turn lane, an eastbound right turn lane, an eastbound ramp to Anchorage and a westbound stop-controlled left turn to Soldotna. Lance Debernardi with R&M Consultants, Inc. said Wednesday that in redesigning the intersection, they considered traffic patterns and efficiency.

Other changes will be made to recreation access in the area, which conflicts with the new highway. To the Resurrection Pass Trail, DOWL Engineer Kelly Kilpatrick said they are proposing a new parking lot and trailhead. The new lot will also provide access to the pedestrian and equestrian trail that will run alongside the new highway. The Bean Creek Trail will be extended to cross under the bridge and a new pullout will provide new access to the trail. The Slaughter Gulch Trail Fork will be removed and a new piece of trail will connect the northern and southern sections of the eastern fork.

Undoubtedly, the project’s biggest feat will be the construction of a steel-arch bridge over the Juneau Creek Canyon. Some of the construction happening this summer includes creating access to where the bridge will cross on either side of the canyon. The bridge by itself is expected to take three years to complete.

The foundations of the bridge are expected to be lower than initially anticipated, meaning the bridge will be lower and will result in fewer visual and noise impacts.

A virtual open house for the project can be viewed until May 14 at Wednesday’s full meeting can be viewed at

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

A boat is lifted out of the water at Northern Enterprises Boat Yard on Kachemak Drive. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Northern Enterprise Boat Yard expands business

Northern Enterprises Boat Yard, Inc., the largest privately owned dry dock marina… Continue reading

Krista Schooley (left) testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education on Monday, June 7, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Screenshot)
A ‘groundswell’: Conservative coalition seeks to expand influence on school policy

The vision of KPCCC is to “restructure and build the foundation of the 7 Mountains of Influence in our society through conservative action.”

Setnetters make their way back to the beach near a site on July 11, 2016 near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)
Personal-use setnetting opening Tuesday on Kasilof

The hours for fishing in the restricted area of the Kasilof River on Tuesday are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
‘A lot of work to do’: Officials hope for summer bounce in vaccinations

Zink said just six months ago she didn’t think the state would have as much vaccine stock as it does now.

A map shows the location of the Loon Lake Fire. (Photo from AK Fire Info).
Flight restriction issued over Loon Lake Fire, now 15% contained

The fire was first reported on Saturday evening.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, talks during an interview in the Empire's offices. During the conversation, Young discussed ongoing infrastructure bill negotiations, the Arctic's strategic importance to the U.S. and why he's seeking a 26th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
The Empire sits down with Rep Young

We hit some of the wavetops of Young’s recent work.

The Alaska Grown logo.
Homer Farmers Market: Don’t forget Wednesday market

Food Hub also is an option for locally grown food.

A sign and road blocker at the head of the Hidden Creek Trail on Skilak Lake Road warns people about bear activity on Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Campers kayak to safety after Skilak bear attack

They were at the mouth of Hidden Creek along the shoreline of Skilak Lake

Most Read