New Copper Valley Road Projects: Summit Lake & Long Lake Hill

DOT Works On Addressing The Problems Of Two Incoming Roads: The Glenn Highway & The Northern Richardson Highway

Between A Rock & A Hard Place: Dealing With Incoming Copper Valley Roads.
This Is A Rocky Cliff On The Glenn Highway.

When Jim Colver, one of the region's new legislators, came to the Legislative Information Office (LIO) early in March, he discussed some of the road projects and problems that affect local residents.

Summit Lake Road Construction This Summer

In Winter, That Area Near Summit Lake Is Lonely
There will be two sections of the north Richardson, north of Summit Lake slated for rebuilding this summer, to improve the width of the road, and straighten curves.

The Problem Of Long Lake Hill On The Lower Glenn

Long Lake.
As Copper Valley people know, the area at Long Lake Hill -- between Mile 66 and 92 of the Glenn -- continues to be a perennial problem. That part of the road is perched on a mountainside, with cliffs dropping off toward the Matanuska River on one side of the road, and the mountain climbing up off the road on the other.  On one side of the highway, you can easily skid off, over the edge, and plummet down into the hundreds of feet deep ravine. But the other side of the road delivers boulders and rocks onto the highway, sometimes smashing the asphalt with their force. Last winter, road crews with bulldozers were out on the Long Lake stretch very frequently, pushing boulders off the highway and over the edge of the hill.

There has been a lot of talk about Long Lake Hill for years. According to Legislator Jim Colver, the original plan at Long Lake was to expand the roadway, by digging into the upward side of the mountain.

But currently, the DOT Commissioner and planners are looking at changing the design, to go around on the south side of Long Lake -- avoiding the hill completely. 

One Side Of The Glenn Is Rocks, The Other Side Is
Terrifying Drop-offs -- Often With No Guardrails.
The plan that is now under consideration does not go all the way to the Matanuska River; that option involves a very expensive bridge. The possible new route would curve back around and rejoin the existing Richardson Highway road on the east side of the lake.

One benefit of the new plan is the road could be constructed without disrupting traffic. And one of the obstacles is that State Parks has to be convinced to allow the project to pass through some State Park lands. 

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