Construction Report: University Avenue project in stage two

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - University Avenue continues it's major reconstruction project. In 2018, the road was widened from Thomas Street to Wolf Run. New turn lanes were added to the Giest, Johansen intersection. Medians were also constructed.

According to DOT Spokesperson Caitlin Frye, the main focus of the project for this year is relocating utilities. Lanes will be added where utility lines already lay, so crews are building a duct further from the road to allow new communication lines to be connected. Power poles will be moving as well.

"The reason that were doing that is because if any work needs to be done on these utilities, we don't want them to have to rip up the road to do it," explained Caitlin Frye.

DOT workers are also closing direct access to University Avenue for some homes in the area. Instead, Halvorson Road will be widened to allow access to residents using that side street. Work on Halvorson is scheduled to continue through next year.

Throughout the summer, residents will see partial lane closures from Geist towards Airport Way. Caitlin Frye says at no point will there be a complete closure.

"The work that's being done this year is primarily work to prepare for what's going to be coming in the future years," began Frye. "Next year we're planning to rehabilitate the University Avenue and Airport Way intersection."

Next year will also see reconstruction where Geraghty Avenue meets University. That phase is designed to increase mobility in that area.

2021 will see major construction on University Avenue, as DOT is planning on replacing the Chena River Bridge. According to Frye, the bridge has already reached the point where it should replaced.

The overall goal of the project is to widen University Avenue from the Mitchell Expressway to Farmer's Loop. The University Avenue Rehabilitation and Widening project is expected to be completed in 2022