FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) This week, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT) is making several improvements on College Road and Davis Road.
A median installed on College Road will mean that those driving west-bound on College will not be able to make left turns into the strip-mall which contains Taco Bell, a Tesoro station, and other establishments. (DOT)
College Road is undergoing two different projects which may significantly alter driving experiences on those roads.
First, the off-ramp from which drivers may enter College off of the Johansen Expressway is undergoing a structural change which will see the removal of the current merging lane drivers must navigate in order to get onto College Road.
Instead, drivers will find a T-shaped intersection with a “Yield” sign. “This makes it easier for people to see the cars that are coming,” says Caitlin Frye, Northern Region Information Officer with DOT. “There’s not a lot of space there, it’s not a proper merge lane,” she continues.
“For this work, we’re going to be closing that off-ramp from Wednesday to Friday,” Frye says. This means that drivers will not be able to enter College Road from the Johansen Expressway for those days.
Further down on College Road, the median has been improved such that drivers those driving west-bound on College from the Steese Highway towards the Johansen will no longer be able to make left turns into the strip-mall which currently features some dining establishments, as well as a Tesoro gas station.
According to a DOT project engineer, “the open lane was dangerous and lots of accidents were happening with a mutual left turn to those businesses and to Costco as well.”
However, drivers coming from the Johansen will still be able to make left turns into Costco, as well as the Bentley Mall and Safeway areas from the turning lane.
West-bound drivers on College will have to make a U-turn at Illinois Street (which is being widened), or the Johansen underpass in order to reach those businesses.
Residents of Davis Road will note that heavy construction is taking place in the area. The DOT contractor is working on the pavement, and closures will alternate between sides on the road.
“We expect this is all going to take three days,” Frye says. She notes that the contractor will be working between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. beginning Tuesday in order to finish the job quickly.
“When we’re paving, there’s a period when the hot asphalt needs to cool before anything can drive over that surface,” Frye adds. She says that this will mean that residents will not be able to leave their driveways if their section of the road has been paved.
“Another tricky thing about paving is that we can’t exactly tell you exactly what hour you won’t be able to access your driveway or your side street along Davis Road,” she adds. This means that residents will have to pay attention to signage posted along the roads.
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