The project team for the Tundra Ridge Road Rehabilitation plan hosted an open house for the community of Bethel to provide an update on the project – the road project that would complete the Bethel “loop”.
Other improvements include: rehabilitating Tundra Ridge Road, better drainage and fish passages, and improved safety and reduced emergency travel time.
The beginning of the road project is where the Tundra Ridge Road connects with BIA Road and ends where it connects with Ptarmigan Road. This portion of the road has been closed for many years.
Construction is currently scheduled for summer 2023.
The Department is currently at 95% design. The project team submitted the design to the City Council for review and comment.
“We appreciate your patience as we work through the federal process to use available funds for meeting community needs and goals,” said the Project Team.
The Department added the project to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and secured federal funds. Following the federally prescribed process to use those funds, the Department reviewed alternatives and determined alternative routes have more extensive impacts to private properties and wetlands. Based on that process, the design team identified right-of-way needs and purchased the required properties.
Open House hosts included Kelly Summers, PE, DOT&PF Project Manager; Doug Campbell, Consultant Project Manager; Joshua Cross, PE, Consultant Project Manager; Karin McGillivray, Public Outreach Manager; and Camden Yehle, Public Involvement Lead.
Bethel representatives from native organizations, contractors, city committee and commission members, city council members, and community members were at the open house. Maps of the project and infographics were available for the public to view. DOT staff fielded questions from the public and to take note of important points regarding the project that were brought forth including the existence of a historical snowmachine trail – the Atmautluak Trail – that crosses the project road near H-Marker Lake.