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Frequently Asked Questions
 
  1. When will this project be constructed?
  2. Will this project move the highway from its existing location?
  3. Will the speed limits in the project area change when construction is complete?
  4. Will the State need to acquire Right-of-Way for the project? Whose properties will be affected?
  5. What is an encroachment? How does this impact me?
  6. How is the project funded? What will it cost?
  7. Will there be changes to the pathway and sidewalks in the project area?
  8. Will the project add more parking near the pathway?
  9. How will this project impact existing private and commercial driveways/access off the highway?
  10. Will trees be cleared in the existing state right-of-way for this project?
  11. Will crosswalks be added as a part of this project?
  12. Will there be new bus stops constructed with this project? Where will they be built?

1. When will this project be constructed?

Pending funding availability, construction for Phase 1 (Saxman to Surf Street) and Phase 2 (Deermount Street to Saxman) will begin in 2020. Construction of both phases is anticipated to take two to three construction seasons to complete.

2. Will this project move the highway from its existing location?

Due to the proximity of the coastline, utilities, existing development, and the area's natural topography, DOT&PF does not anticipate major shifts in the existing alignment. Planned improvements may straighten some curves to improve sight distances and facilitate traffic movements. The project's preliminary design maintains the highway's 11–foot-wide lanes and provides shoulder improvements (widening) where feasible.

3. Will the speed limits in the project area change when construction is complete?

The project team continues to example posted speeds in the project area and is considering whether to change speed limits. Since the pedestrian path is separated from the traveled way, lowering the 45 miles per hour segment is unwarranted. However, the project team has not made a final decision on posted speed.

4. Will the State need to acquire Right-of-Way for the project? Whose properties will be affected?

The project is currently in the preliminary design phase. At this time, specific Right-of-Way (ROW) impacts are not finalized. However, ROW acquisitions will be necessary for the project. ROW acquisition is scheduled to begin the winter of 2019. For any questions, please contact us at info@southtongasshighway.com.

5. What is an encroachment? How does this impact me?

Some property owners may also be contacted about encroachments in the existing state-owned ROW. An encroachment is an unauthorized use of a ROW by improvements, objects, items, or obstructions. Encroachments are resolved by removal, or can be permitted (allowed with a permit). Whether an encroachment can be permitted is determined on a case by case basis.

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6. How is the project funded? What will it cost?

This project is included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the spending plan for Federal Aid. The project will be funded with a mix of federal and State dollars with an approximate 90% federal 10% State ratio. The current STIP shows approximately $9 million for Phase 1 (Saxman to Surf Street), and $15 million for Phase 2 (Deermount Street to Saxman). These cost estimates will be refined during final design.

7. Will there be changes to the pathway and sidewalks in the project area?

The existing pathways and sidewalks adjacent to the highway in the project area will be rehabilitated as part of this project. New pathway sections are planned for the water side of the highway from the Forest Park Drive intersection to Surf Street. Once constructed, this new section of pathway will create a continuous pathway along South Tongass Highway from the US Coast Guard Base to the Mountain Point vicinity. The project also provides for a new sidewalk on the land side of the highway between Deermount Street and Community Connections.

8. Will the project add more parking near the pathway?

DOT&PF is aware of public parking shortages near the pathway. The project team continues to look for opportunities to add parking areas as a part of this project's design. However, development of a parking lot may not be possible due to limited ROW.

If you are aware of any parking opportunities, let us know with your comments.

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9. How will this project impact existing private and commercial driveways/access off the highway?

Some impacts to existing driveways may occur. If driveway relocations are necessary, DOT&PF will work with property owners to finalize driveway configurations.

10. Will trees be cleared in the existing state right-of-way for this project?

Given the narrow corridor, tree clearing is likely. DOT&PF may clear trees up to the limits of the proposed/acquired ROW line.

11. Will crosswalks be added as a part of this project?

Where warranted by pedestrian traffic counts, crosswalks are being considered as a part of the project design.

12. Will there be new bus stops constructed with this project? Where will they be built?

Bus stop turnouts and shelters may be constructed as a part of this project. DOT&PF is coordinating with the Borough Transit Manager and the City of Saxman to determine locations for potential stops/shelters. Preliminary bus turnouts are in the vicinity of the following locations:

  • Forest Park Drive
  • Totem Row
  • Dog Salmon Ave
  • Shoup Street

 

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