Alaska Interstate Construction LLC (AIC) is constructing a new Anchorage road, Martin Luther King Ave. The road connects Boniface Parkway with Elmore Rd. and skirts the northern edge of Far North Bicentennial Park. AIC is the prime contractor on the project, having won the $24 million contract from the Municipality of Anchorage with a competitive bid.
The new road is part of the municipality’s Long- Range Transportation Plan. Its purpose is to relieve Anchorage traffic congestion, particularly on Tudor Rd., where current traffic far exceeds the road’s capacity.
The new road’s proximity to the popular Anchorage park will give it some unique features. Many people use the area for recreation. Several trails, including the Campbell Creek Trail and Tour of Anchorage trail, are being rerouted based on input from user groups. The road will include pedestrian and bike paths along its entire length, a bridge used solely for trail and wildlife crossings, and even decorative fencing.
“This road’s going to be very park-like,” said Bill Luebbert, AIC’s Cook Inlet division manager. “Its design is such that it lends itself to bordering the park. We’ll be doing extensive landscaping, with lots of shrubbery.”
AIC has trucked in more than 600,000 tons of rock material to the road site from the Eklutna gravel pit run by Alaska Aggregate Products, a CIRI and AIC subsidiary. AIC has also hauled off about 300,000 tons of peat waste from the site.
“Nobody else has hauled anything near that amount in the winter on an Anchorage project,” said Luebbert. “The road crosses two designated wetlands, so we had to start construction in the winter to avoid damaging the area.”
AIC broke ground on the project in November 2008. Excavation will conclude in early April. Road construction will run through July; paving could begin in late August. Road lighting, traffic signals and signage will be constructed from May through August. Landscaping will begin in July and conclude the following spring. The projected completion date for the project is July 2010.
“We have a lot of expertise in many different fields.We’ve done state highway work and major heavy civil construction, mining construction and a lot of bridge work,” said Brent Cleaves, AIC’s project manager for the new road. “On a project like this, our capabilities really shine.”