State DOT to go forward with controversial Chena Hot Springs Road roundabout project

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The state Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to reconstruct the intersection of the Steese Highway and Chena Hot Springs Road.
The project would add a roundabout on each side of the Steese overpass.
Although DOT studies indicate roundabouts would reduce accidents by as much as 68 percent, many residents are unconvinced and voiced opposition to the plan in public hearings last year.
The intersection is one of the highest-trafficked thoroughfares in town, with about 8,000 to 9,000 vehicles passing through each day.
The roundabout project, which is related to another DOT plan to revamp the first six miles of Chena Hot Springs Road, isn't slated for construction until 2020.
Project manager, Carl Heim, says DOT took feedback from residents into consideration when making improvements to the initial roundabout design.
Carl Heim; Project Manager, AKDOT>>: "We did appreciate all the public feedback that we got at both of those meetings and we did incorporate a lot of it , hence the bypass and flattening the grating and a lot of the community members had good suggestions that we did incorporate. We're looking into a few other things that will be finalized in the design as we move forward."