Eagle River residents had another chance to view the progress of the Eagle River Traffic Mitigation project a week ago. DOWL, along with Brooks & Associates, held a public information meeting in the Eagle River Town Center. This is the sixth public meeting relaying the progress of the project.
The community room, filled with curious residents, business owners and cyclists, was lined with nearly a dozen maps and charts showing the progression of the design concept for the intersection of Artillery Rd, Eagle River Rd. and the Old and New Glenn Highways.
The plan, now part of a 13-year history, coordinated with the 2006 Eagle River Comprehensive Plan and the 2011 plans to extend Eagle River Road through to Business Blvd.
The plan took a step back in order to address the traffic patterns near the three-legged intersection. One part of the plan creates a hook exit taking traffic directly to Eagle River road, allowing southbound traffic to bypass the signal after exiting the Glenn. The Municipality purchased land along the projected path to take Eagle River Road through to Business Park Blvd alongside the ACF Church. That part of the project will occur after the intersection is completed and will be dependent on funding.
Funding for the project includes two State grants for a total of $8.5 million.
Earlier the project team met with business owners in the area. The big concerns include the future of Cross Road and the access to long-time businesses such as Pizza Man, Eagle River Funeral home and the K9 Daycare along Brooks Loop.
Closing off Cross road to Artillery Road is being considered, however, business owners such as Eric Morrison of Alaska Velo Sport hopes the plan includes a “right in, right out” design. Morrison says his business is doing well and losing the main traffic access would be detrimental. Morrison was not alone in his concerns about Cross Road. Closing the entrance would reroute traffic, possibly in a one-way path, along Brooks Loop.
Currently, Cross Road is used as a short cut by rush hour traffic. In many cases, people are cutting through a bank parking lot to reach the highway entrance.
At the public meeting, Aaron Christie of DOWL listened to concerns and answered questions. Christie pulled out a red marker and started drawing a dotted line as one man described an alternate route suggestion dealing with the impact of the project on nearby Monte Road.
People walked from easel to easel where DOWL and Brooks staff were stationed. Christie then led the meeting with a 15-minute slide show and took questions.
Scott Bailey was concerned with the impact on pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Another man had a suggestion that intrigued Christie but became complicated. Christie asked him to stick around so they could draw the idea out.
Currently, the entire project is what is referred to as 35 percent finished. The next public meeting will be when the project is 65 percent finished. Christie anticipates that meeting to be held in the fall of 2017.