Environmental Assessment for Construction of Pullouts and Other Safety Improvements Between Mile 73 and Mile 86 on the Denali Park Road Available for Public Comment
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the construction of park road improvements between Mile 73 and 86 is now available for public review and comment, announced Park Superintendent Paul R. Anderson.
The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, is considering a project for safety improvements to the western end of the Denali Park Road in Denali National Park and Preserve. The NPS is proposing to:
The project is necessary because this stretch of road has been identified as having had the fewest safety improvements since it was constructed in the 1930s. A review of documented vehicle accidents between the years 1996 and 2004 shows that the Wonder Lake section of road, which carries only 24% of the unpaved park road vehicle traffic, accounted for 54% of all unpaved park road vehicle incidents, and 100% of all multi-vehicle incidents. Data collected since 1991 indicates that 71% of Wonder Lake area road accidents involve two vehicles in a passing situation.
Improvements to the road are based on the park’s 2007 Road Design Standards, which are a quantitative version of the Road Management summary given in the park’s 1997 Entrance Area and Road Corridor Development Concept Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. The general concept is that the park road west of the Teklanika River would remain a variable width one lane rustic road with pullouts.
The NPS has published an EA for this project titled “Mile 73-86 Park Road Rehabilitation EA.” It is available at the NPS planning web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The EA analyzes the impacts of the proposed action and the no-action alternative. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).
Comments on the EA may be submitted through July 9, 2009, preferably via the web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Alternately, comments may be mailed to Steve Carwile, DENA Compliance Project Manager, NPS Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501; Fax 907-644-3803; e-mail us.
If you have any questions about the EA or need paper copies, please call project manager Brad Ebel at (907) 683-9556 or Steve Carwile at (907) 644-3612.
Did You Know?
Warmer temperatures have led to dramatic thawing of permafrost. Thaw releases carbon, as once-frozen materials decompose, but allows increased plant growth. Researchers in Denali are studying whether thawing permafrost will increase or decrease world-wide carbon emissions.