The proposed project will provide a safe route for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel along Richardson Highway from Tazlina, 6.2 miles North to Glennallen, and 4.7 miles South to Copper Center. The project starts at approximate milepost (MP) 105 and ends at approximate MP 115. Currently to travel from Tazlina to Glennallen or Copper Center, residents must walk or ride along the shoulder of the highway with nothing more than a shoulder stripe protecting them from a busy highway with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour (MPH), raised from 55 MPH in 2013. This project will tie in to existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities in both Glennallen and Copper Center enhancing the safety for the pathway’s users. There were two pedestrian/vehicle accidents between 2000 and 2010, with the likelihood for increased incidents with the increased speed limit. Additionally, the bridge over the Tazlina River at approximate MP 110.8 is a pinch point on the highway, further decreasing safety for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling the roadway.
This project will serve the residents of Copper Center, Silver Springs, Tazlina, Copperville and Glennallen by providing alternative transportation access for those without vehicles. It will also provide non-vehicular access to both the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Headquarters and Visitor Center at MP 106.8, and the Copper River Princess Lodge at MP 101.6 as well as local businesses, medical facilities, and schools. Visitors will be able to enhance their destination experience by either walking or riding a bicycle approximately six miles through Copper Center and up the pathway to the Wrangell-St. Elias Visitors Center.
- Federal Highway Administration – Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD)
- Native Village of Tazlina (Tazlina)
- National Park Service - Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
- Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF)
Scope of Work
The scope of this project is to design a ten-foot wide, ten-mile-long pedestrian and bicycle pathway from Glennallen, through Tazlina, and continuing onward to Copper Center. It includes an approximately six-hundred-foot-long pedestrian bridge adjacent to and downstream of the existing vehicular bridge over the Tazlina River. The pathway will be constructed on the east-side of the Richardson Highway within the existing AKDOT&PF right-of-way (R/W) and will be paved. The pathway will be designed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement, and a wall may also be constructed along the steep side of the pathway as an additional safety precaution.
|Milestone||Date of Completion|
|Scoping Field Review||November 2015|
|Project Initiation||January 2016|
|15% Alignment Review||May 2016|
|Survey/Environmental Work||August 2016|
|Resource Survey||September 2016|
|State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)/Tribal Consultation||April 2017|
|30% Preliminary Design Review||April 2017|
|Public Meeting||May 2017|
|Categorical Exclusion||August 2017|
|70% Plan, Specification, & Estimate (PS&E) Review||October 2017|
|95% PS&E Review||June 2020|
|100% PS&E||August 2020|
|Shelf Period||September 2020 - August 2023|
|Construction||Spring 2024 - Fall 2025|