Project Description

The Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) is proposing changes to Spenard Road between Hillcrest Drive and 30th Avenue to improve vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle safety. Ruts, cracks, and potholes mar the surface of the roadway. The road condition is deteriorating beyond the scope of normal maintenance, resulting in increasing street maintenance expense. This corridor also includes a high collision rate and one of the highest rates of pedestrian-bicycle related crashes in Anchorage.

The Spenard Road Reconstruction project will construct this minor arterial to current urban standards. Improvements are expected to include a new road base, curb and gutter, storm drain, transit improvements, lighting upgrades, pedestrian crossing improvements, and landscaping.

Project Need

  • Current Standards: Roadway elements such as, pavement, drainage, lighting, driveways, curb cuts, sidewalks, and curb ramps do not meet current MOA and national standards.
  • Safety: Spenard Road has a documented history of repeating collision frequency and patterns. The frequency and types of collisions result in collision rates that exceed those considered acceptable for this type of roadway.
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit: The Spenard Road corridor has pedestrian presence and transit use volumes that are among the highest within the MOA. Current pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities along the corridor are minimal or non-existent.
  • Capacity: The improved corridor must accommodate the year 2037 traffic levels at an acceptable level of service.

History

Proposed reconstruction of Spenard Road between Hillcrest Drive and 30th Avenue began as a traffic and safety improvement project in 1999. A 2006 Preliminary Engineering Report and related Traffic and Safety Analysis found a recurring pattern and high incidence rate of angle and sideswipe accidents and recommended that the current 4-lane section be converted to a 3-lane section, one lane in each direction and a 2-way center left turn lane (TWCLTL). The 2012 West Anchorage District Plan again recommended conversion from a 4-lane road to a 3-lane road. The need to upgrade adjacent pedestrian facilities and bus stops to meet Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards was also identified. This section of Spenard Road, 30th Avenue to Hillcrest Drive, is approximately 3,000 feet long and is classified as a Minor Arterial in the Official Streets and Highways Plan (OSHP).

The design team begins a process to finalize the design and prepare plans, specifications, and estimates. An important focus during this phase will be the “streetscape” design. In this context, streetscape is defined as the area between the back edge of the multi-use pathway and the edge of the adjacent building, as shown in the figure below.

The project team will work closely with property and business owners to develop this design. The opportunities to participate in the design process for the Spenard Road Reconstruction project are outlined in the Public Involvement Plan (see documents).