DOT announces the beginning of the 2020 construction season

Major construction projects this year include the University Avenue Rehabilitation & Widening project, and improvements to the Richardson Highway. (DOT&PF)

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT) announced on Thursday that the 2020 construction season has begun in Fairbanks. This means that residents can anticipate closures, diversions, and new time considerations for road travel.

Major projects occurring this year including the continuation of the University Avenue Rehabilitation & Widening project expected to last through 2022.

This year, construction will occur at the avenue’s intersection with Airport Way, where the road will be widened, among other works. Popular nearby landmarks include Fred Meyer West and Safeway.

Rewak Dr. has already been closed due to deep utility work being done there prior to the work taking place at the University/Airport intersection.

Other traffic impacts include the closing of University Avenue north of the Chena River Bridge all the way to Rewak beginning in mid-May and are anticipated to last all summer. One lane going either direction will be open at Airport Way to through-traffic only; turns cannot be made there. Alternative routes around University Ave. include the Mitchell Expressway, Geist Road, and Peger Road.

Construction on the Chena River Bridge may or may not happen later this season, but closures are expected to be extended if the project moves forward.

The next construction projects expected to impact residents of the interior are the access improvements to miles 353 to 357 of the Richardson Highway. Due to the expansion of populations and businesses in the area, access points were added which are not up to modern engineering standards.

Continuation of the work being done on both sides of the frontage roads in the area will happen this year. Additionally, access points to the Richardson will be consolidated, as well as the addition of acceleration and deceleration lanes, and lighting to those access points. These improvements are expected to make these access points safer.

Construction will occur on one side of the highway at a time, so all traffic will be diverted to the side not under construction, and one lane in either direction will be available to drivers.

The project, and the subsequent traffic switchover, is anticipated to begin on Friday. May 1. However, drivers can anticipate lane restrictions and construction work before then. Each side’s closure will take approximately one month, and DOT hopes construction will be completed in June.

There will be an additional closure of the on-ramp from the Badger Road interchange onto the Richardson Highway heading toward North Pole.

The Chena Hot Springs Road Roundabout project will see construction taking place on either side of the Chena Hot Springs Road/Steese Highway underpass; however, the road will remain open to traffic.

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