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Final Study Report

Final Midtown Congestion Relief Planning and Environmental Linkages Study is now Available.

Please click here to view the final Midtown Congestion Relief Planning and Environmental Linkages study. Appendices are also available here.

All comments received on the draft Study are summarized in Appendix 3, including resolutions received from the Anchorage Assembly and Community Councils.

Thank you very much for your comments and participation in this study. We look forward to continuing to work with you as projects recommended in the study move forward.

The 36th Avenue Interchange project is a direct outcome of this study. Please visit that project website for more information.

To contact the project team, please email to: MCR@dowl.com or call Katie Conway at (907) 562-2000.

Community Building Working Group

During the extensive public outreach and stakeholder engagement conducted through the PEL Study, the project team heard feedback that led to the creation of a Midtown Community Building Working Group. This group will meet several times starting in Fall 2020 to develop a vision for Midtown and a strategy for how to achieve it. The strategy will include a discussion of who “owns” the vision and how the CBWG and other stakeholders can participate in making the vision a reality. Meeting materials are available here on this website’s Meetings page.

What is a PEL Study?

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL)

“represents a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that 1) considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process, and 2) uses the information, analysis, and products developed during planning to inform the environmental review process.”

This approach leads to streamlined evaluation and documentation during the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. For more information, click on the links below.

FHWA PEL Information    PEL Process Infographic

Overview and History

Mobility study area

The MCR initiative focused on the area surrounding the Seward Highway corridor from the Tudor Road interchange to approximately the 20th Avenue intersection through Midtown Anchorage.

The intersections in this corridor have some of the longest delays and highest crash rates in the state. Traffic along this corridor is expected to roughly double in the next 20 to 30 years and, without significant improvements, congestion will increase dramatically in the Midtown area. The Seward Highway also creates challenges for vehicles and non-motorized traffic trying to cross from the residential area on the east to the commercial area on the west.

The MCR study area has a long history of unfinished projects that similarly sought to address traffic congestion issues on the Seward Highway where it transitions from a controlled access freeway south of Tudor Road to a slower speed major arterial road north of 36th Avenue. This effort represents a fresh start in the study area to more comprehensively develop and evaluate concepts to streamline the future environmental, design, and construction process.

The MCR PEL Study

The MCR PEL Study began with a traffic study to evaluate the inter-related issues surrounding the closely-spaced, signalized intersections in Midtown Anchorage. Following completion of the PEL Study, DOT&PF will conduct design, environmental evaluation and NEPA documentation, and permitting activities to construct the highest priority project - the 36th Avenue Interchange Project. The MCR PEL effort was state-funded but followed the federal process in anticipation of federal funding for plan implementation.