Main Header Image

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of the project?
  2. What will the improved highway look like?
  3. Why are these improvements needed?
  4. Are there any other road projects in the area?
  5. How will this project improve safety and reduce collisions?
  6. How is the project funded? What will it cost?
  7. When will construction begin?
  8. I live on the Spur, so I’m keen to know how much things might change.
  9. Will this project move the roadway from its existing location?
  10. How much right-of-way (ROW) will be needed for the project? Will my property be affected?
  11. What will happen to driveways next to the highway where it is being widened?
  12. What will happen to mailboxes along the highway?
  13. Will you be clearing trees next to the roadway?
  14. Will there be more street lighting?
  15. Will the speed limit change as part of the project?
  16. Will there be increased noise from having additional traffic closer to housing?
  17. How are you addressing the pathway adjacent to the highway during construction?
  18. Will roundabouts be included in the design?
  19. Who can I contact to get more information?


1. What is the purpose of the project?

The Kenai Spur Highway Rehabilitation project has a goal of improving the existing roadway between Sports Lake Road and Swires Road. Early planning and outreach identified that the best solution is to widen the roadway into five lanes (two eastbound, two westbound, one center). However, DOT&PF has only half the funding needed to make that change.

The delivery strategy for this project will be to phase it as follows:

  1. Design the entire project to a 75% level to ensure consistency between phases
  2. Build the first phase of improvements with the funding that is available. 
  3. Work with local government to secure the necessary funds to complete the project.
  4. Continue phases as funding is secured until the project is complete.  A timeline for funding is indeterminate at this point.

2. What will the improved highway look like?

The current highway is 40 feet wide, including two 12-foot lanes with eight-foot shoulders. The Kenai Spur Highway
Rehabilitation Project will widen the existing highway to five lanes: four, 12-foot through lanes (two in each direction) with two 8-foot shoulders and a 14-foot center Two-Way Left-Turn Lane (TWLTL). At some intersections, the center lane will become a dedicated left turn lane. These project improvements would match the section of Kenai Spur Highway from S. Forest Drive to Swires Road and carry that same design through to Sports Lake Road.
Return to top of FAQs page.

3. Why are these improvements needed?  

The Kenai Spur Highway serves as a critical link between the communities of Kenai and Soldotna. Lying between two five-lane segments, MP 2.4 to 8.1 of the highway bottlenecks to two lanes. These five miles of highway have crash rates higher than the statewide average, and also have the second highest rate of moose collisions in Alaska, so safety improvements are needed.

4. Are there any other DOT&PF projects in the area?

One nearby DOT&PF project is the Beaver Loop Road Improvements and Pedestrian Pathway which is upgrading those facilities. For more information, see www.beaverlooproad.com. A DOT&PF resurfacing project of the Kenai Spur Highway from Cole Road to Swires Road is planned for 2016. For information on that project, contact Morgan Merritt (morgan.merritt@alaska.gov or 907-269-0614). The Alaska LNG project team is evaluating options for potentially relocating a portion of the Kenai Spur Highway in the Nikiski area. For information on that project see ak-lng.com or contact Jennifer Adleman, Stakeholder Engagement Lead for Kenai Spur Highway Relocation Project (jennifer.adleman@hdrinc.com or 907-644-2004).

Return to top of FAQs page.

5. How will this project improve safety and reduce collisions?

The continuous Two-Way Left-Turn Lane (TWLTL) is anticipated to provide greater separation for opposing traffic, thereby reducing the risk of head-on collisions. It would also remove vehicles waiting to make left-turns from through lanes, lowering the risk of rear-end collisions. During design, DOT&PF will also consider additional enhancements to improve safety and bring the alignment up to current design standards, including moose mitigation measures, lighting, and drainage improvements.

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

In 2011, DOT&PF received a $20 million appropriation from the State legislature for the project. The Cities of Kenai and Soldotna expressed their preference for a five-lane highway, which is estimated to cost about $40 million. The DOT&PF decided to move forward with the five-lane highway alternative by breaking the project into two phases:

  1. Phase 1 will include the work that can be completed with the funding currently available, and Phase 2 will cover the work that can occur once additional funding is acquired.
  2. During Phase 1 (this project), DOT&PF will take the five-lane concept to a 75% design level, complete a final design, and move forward with construction to use the $20 million in existing funding.
  3. DOT&PF will also develop a Phase 2 plan that will detail how to best phase construction of future improvements, as additional funding is made available.
    Return to top of FAQs page.

7. When will construction begin?  

Construction of Phase 1 is anticipated to begin in 2017.   

8. I live on the Spur, so I’m keen to know how much things might change.

DOT&PF recognizes that many people live along the highway. Construction would be phased so that the highway is still useable and improved at the end of each phase.  As DOT&PF moves forward, we will share our early design concepts and ideas about construction phasing, and ask for public feedback on those ideas.  If you have any suggestions at this early stage in the design process, we would welcome them.Return to top of FAQs page.

9. Will this project move the roadway from its existing location?

No, the highway will remain in the same location.

10. How much right-of-way (ROW) will be needed for the project?  Will my property be affected?

The project has recently completed the 75% design Once design is finalized, if additional ROW is necessary, DOT&PF will proactively contact affected property owners and agencies during the ROW acquisition phase, anticipated to begin in 2016.

Return to top of FAQs page.

11. What will happen to driveways next to the highway where it is being widened?
In the event that driveways are impacted, DOT&PF will reconstruct existing permitted driveways and accesses to tie into the new roadway. In some locations, DOT&PF may consolidate or relocate driveways to side streets to improve safety. DOT&PF will not be creating new driveways or approaches as a part of this project. If you would like to apply for a driveway/approach road permit, please consult the permit application website at www.dot.state.ak.us/permits/index.shtml.

12. What will happen to mailboxes along the highway?
Should mailboxes be impacted, DOT&PF will relocate and/or replace any mailboxes that are affected by the project. This may include creating grouped mailbox locations. DOT&PF will work with the United States Postal Service to best accommodate mail service to affected residents during and after construction.  Return to top of FAQs page.

13. Will you be clearing trees next to the roadway?
There would almost certainly be clearing as part of this project. There are many reasons to clear trees along the roadway: to improve visibility along roadway (especially in areas with curves), to provide ample space for DOT&PF road maintenance crews to clear snow, to reduce roadway shadows that can lead to icing, and to create a clear zone or hazard free area adjacent to the roadway for errant vehicles. This stretch of the Kenai Spur has a high rate of moose crash incidences. Keeping vegetation as far back from the road as possible will keep feeding moose further away from the highway and will allow drivers to see crossing moose sooner. All these things improve roadway safety. DOT&PF may clear trees up to the limits of the proposed/acquired right-of-way line, and there may be an advanced clearing project to reduce moose collisions.  

14. Will there be more street lighting?
The design isn’t finalized enough to determine the anticipated lighting; however, the DOT&PF intends to report on lighting decisions during the design process and once the design is finalized. Return to top of FAQs page.

15. Will the speed limit change as part of the project?
No. The posted speed limit is 55 mph, with a reduction to 45 mph approximately one‐quarter mile from the end of project, just past Mapes Street. Under the proposed improvements, the speed limit will not change and remain at 55 mph throughout the project segment.

16. Will there be increased noise from having additional traffic closer to housing?
A noise analysis determined that increases in traffic noise relative to the existing conditions are not predicted to exceed DOT&PF’s 15-dBA increase threshold. A noise barrier was evaluated at the only impacted receptor and found to be infeasible. Therefore, noise abatement is not recommended for this project.  Return to top of FAQs page.

17. How are you addressing the pathway adjacent to the highway during construction?  
The construction contract will require the pathway stay open for use. Similar to the roadway, there will likely be some delays and minor inconvenience associated with temporary traffic control measures

18. Will roundabouts be included in the design?
Roundabouts are not included in this project.

19. Who can I contact to get more information?
If you would like to request additional information or share your ideas,email the project team below or leave your comments interactivly on the comments page. You may also sign up to recieve project updates via email!

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF)
Sean Holland P.E., Project Manager
Email: info@KenaiSpurRehab.com
Phone: 907-269-0670

HDR
Katherine Wood, Public Involvement
Email: info@KenaiSpurRehab.com
Phone: 907-644-2000Return to top of FAQs page.

Dowloadable FAQs You must download Adobe Reader in order to view this document. (900 kb)