State aims to ease Sunny Point traffic

Proposed plan would create tunnel under Egan Drive and new road near Kmart

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

The state is seeking input on the best way to improve access, ease congestion and increase safety at Juneau's Sunny Point intersection, near the Williams Express service station.

A public meeting tonight will include an overview of possible road alignments along Egan Drive and Glacier Highway, said Chris Morrow, preliminary design and environmental group chief with the Alaska Department of Transportation. Once the agency has a workable solution, environmental analysis will begin, he said.

The department's preferred solution would build a new road connecting Glacier Highway and Egan Drive, cutting through a small part of the west end of the Big Kmart parking lot. An undercrossing or tunnel would go under Egan Drive to connect Glacier Highway to the Sunny Point neighborhood, although it would not provide direct access to Egan.

The solution wouldn't affect residential property but would result in a loss of commercial land, Morrow said.

Other alternatives include a half-diamond interchange, a roundabout, a diamond interchange near Kmart with a new connection to Renninger Street or a diamond interchange with a new connection at Alaway Avenue.

Mary Lou King, president of the Sunny Point Neighborhood Association, said the intersection at Egan Drive can be frightening.

"It's illegal to be there on foot which means you can't get off Sunny Point unless you're in a car," she said. "It's a really unsafe intersection."

The meeting is from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Gruening Park Rec Center on Northwood Drive near Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. A presentation by the project team is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will include computer-generated models that will give people an idea what it will be like to drive through the proposed intersections, Morrow said.

Additional information about the project and diagrams of the proposed solutions are available on the Department of Transportation's Web site at

Joanna Markell can be reached at

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