Construction Report: Steese Expressway to see limited reopening

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 8:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Throughout the month of June, the Steese Expressway has been closed to traffic from College Road to Airport Way.

However, this path will soon see a limited reopening. According to Danielle Tessen, Public Information Officer with the Alaska Department of Transportation, “At the beginning of July, we’re actually going to be able to open up the Steese to two lanes of traffic, one in each direction.”

Once that happens, Airport Way will close between Noble Street and the Steese. “If you’re coming in from North Pole, the Steese will be open, so you can go through, but if you’re trying to get onto Airport Way, you’re going to want to use South Cushman in order to access Airport Way,” Tessen explained.

The Airport Way closure is expected to last through July.

Around the same time, the road to access Fort Wainwright’s main gate will begin to see weekend closures, starting on Friday, July 8th. Eve Baker, Media Relations Specialist on Fort Wainwright, said, “Visitor Center operations are going to move to Badger Gate, so anyone needing a pass to access Fort Wainwright will need to proceed to Badger Gate during the closures.”

Fort Wainwright’s weekend closures are expected to last through the end of the construction season.

All of this road work is part of a larger project to redesign the intersection to help the flow of traffic. Tessen said, “The intersection of Airport Way and Steese is the second-most frequented intersection in Fairbanks. There’s a lot of traffic moving through here.”

That project will be divided between summers 2022 and 2023. “This year, we’re focused on rebuilding the Steese. We’re doing a little bit of work around the intersection to prepare for next summer, but next summer, what you can see is a new intersection, a new configuration,” she said.

The whole project, it is hoped, will be completed by the end of construction season 2023.

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