Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Big Lake Community Impact Assessment

Big Lake Community Impact Assessment (CIA)Studying the Impacts of Potential Road Corridors from the Parks Highway to the Point MacKenzie Road/West Aryshire Avenue Intersection.

The purpose of the Big Lake Community Impact Assessment (CIA) is to identify socioeconomic impacts to the Big Lake Community that could result from an improved highway connection between the Point MacKenzie Road/Ayrshire Road intersection and the Parks Highway.

The CIA is meant to inform the Big Lake Community, the Matanuska Susitna Borough (MSB), and other decision makers as they go through the future process to select a preferred alignment.

Thank you for your commitment to Big Lake and for your contributions to the Big Lake Community Impact Assessment project.

 

Background

In 2011 the Big Lake Community Council became increasingly concerned about a proposed road that would connect Port MacKenzie and the Knik Arm Crossing to the Parks Highway. Early designs showed the road running right through Downtown Big Lake. Because of this, the community rallied and worked with state legislators to secure money to fund a study that would analyze all of the various routes possible, as well as the pros and cons associated with each. The community’s efforts became known as the Big Lake Community Impact Assessments (CIA).

The purpose of the CIA is to identify socioeconomic impacts to the Big Lake Community that could result from an improved highway connection between the Point MacKenzie Road/Ayrshire Road intersection and the Parks Highway. The CIA is meant to inform the Big Lake Community, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB), and other decision makers as they go through the future process to select a preferred alignment.

The CIA process was initiated by identifying alternative routes that could be evaluated. The alternative identification process started with identifying one-mile wide corridors that represent general locations for a highway connection. Those corridors were based on routes that had been analyzed as part of previous transportation studies. The project team worked with MSB staff, Big Lake community residents, and other stakeholders to add additional corridors and to refine each corridor into a specific alternative to be studied. Two corridors were not evaluated for detailed community impacts: Corridor 1 because it had high costs, trail impacts, and low anticipated usage; and Corridor 4 because of unacceptable wetland impacts, effects on the Aurora Dog mushing area; and community sentiment.

Findings

At the end of the alternative identification process, five alternatives were carried forward into the CIA phase for additional analysis.

Those five alternatives are:

Alternative 2 – Rail Route (highway would parallel the railroad)
Alternative 3 – City Center/Existing Road Route
Alternative 3 Bypass - Option A
Alternative 3 Bypass - Option B
Alternative 5 - Johnson Road Route

Contact

For more information or questions regarding this project please contact Sara Jansen, Acting Chief of Planning with the Planning and Land Use Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 907-861-7865 or Jessica Smith, Transportation Planner II at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 907-861-8514.