The UMED district continues to experience rapid growth in large part due to ongoing capital projects on the UAA and Providence campuses. The Dowl HKM Study Report (see link to their report below) provides excellent background re: this growth and the resulting traffic impacts.
Currently, two roads projects are being planned on or adjacent to the APU campus 1) University Lake Dr. extension and 2) the Northern Access road. Herein I will attempt to provide clarity as to their status.
- 1) University Lake Drive extension
- The Municipality of Anchorage (M OA) fire marshal provided a major impetus for this project by identifying a need for APU to provide a secondary road outlet to its main campus core. APU is currently addressing Phase 1 of this road extension.
- APU secured a $6 million federal grant to extend University Lake Drive, for Phase I of this road, to reach the APU soccer field (see map below).
- The MOA approved APU’s Master Plan in 2012 which includes the University Lake Dr. road corridor. The road will also provide access to potential future endowed property development along APU’s east campus border.
- The road design work is underway, public hearings are being held with construction scheduled for summer 2014.
- APU goals for the University Lake Dr extension:
- Provide west-end connection to the new Elmore road roundabout (being constructed as part of the UAA Sports Arena project)
- Construct a low volume, country-lane road (2 lanes with no on-street parking)
- Designed to improve circulation on the APU campus with no through access
- Protection of the existing APU nordic ski trails with minor adjustments
- Delineation of the adjacent MOA dog park boundary to provide more separation from the APU campus
- 2) Northern Access Road (also known as the “Bragaw extension”)
With the addition of the UAA Sports Arena the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) is actively moving the Northern Access road project forward. Dowl HKM’s September 2011 Reconnaissance Study narrowed the proposed road alternative routes down from twelve to four (Page 80). Page 50 of this report shows the location of the four recommended routes. Reconnaissance Report
The MOA has crafted a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) to be signed by the major UMED district agencies to advance the project forward to the next step i.e., to refine alternatives, identify a preferred alternative and estimate construction costs.
The MOU indicated that if additional funding is provided through subsequent legislative appropriation, these efforts will also include final design, right-of-way acquisition, permitting and construction.
If the road is built, the APU goal for the Northern access road is to eliminate option I (University Lake Drive) in favor of alternatives J or K (on the UAA campus) or G (parallels the UAA/APU campus boundaries i.e., a true Elmore-Bragaw extension