Sterling Highway projects slated to begin spring 2024

A project to improve sections of the roadway and increase safety on the Sterling Highway between Anchor Point and Baycrest Hill is slated to begin in spring 2024.

The objective of the project is to restore structural integrity, improve safety, reduce congestion and improve travel efficiency of the highway corridor between Milepost 157 and 169, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The project is being completed using a combination of state and federal funds and is being developed in accordance with Federal Highway Administration guidelines.

The project will replace roadway pavement, expand shoulders, add passing and climbing lanes, replace bridges and culverts and stabilize stream banks.

“The two Anchor River bridges are a big part of this project, also,” Aaron Hunting, professional engineer and project manager with the transportation department, said. “Those are older bridges that need to be replaced.”

The project will also tackle improving roadway curves that don’t meet current standards or that have a history of crashes, Hunting said. Those include a curve just south of Anchor Point and a curve right before the Bay Crest Hill near the bluff at Diamond Creek.

“Roadwork in those places will improve the geometry of the curves,” he said.

The design for the project is complete but it is still in certification phase, which means the Alaska Department of Transportation needs to finalize authorization for funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

The construction start date is subject to funding and finalized agreements with utility companies, Hunting said.

Agreements to relocate utility services to accommodate the wider features of the road are pending. The utility companies in the area include Homer Electric Association, Enstar Natural Gas, GCI and ACS.