Mendenhall Loop Road in Juneau, Alaska, is an arterial street that functions as the spine of the Mendenhall Valley, serving residential, commercial, and school uses along its length, as well as tourist traffic to the Mendenhall Glacier. It routinely gets congested during peak periods and during school special events. Bicycle and pedestrian travel along and across the street is challenging. Kittelson was contracted to look at options and provide recommendations for alternatives for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) to consider.
The project team developed two families of concepts for the street: one that expanded the roadway from three to five lanes, and one that generally maintained the existing three-lane section. In both alternatives, the team considered roundabouts and signalized intersections at key intersections, as well as opportunities for improved bicycle and pedestrian crossings and other access management features. Kittelson prepared corridor sketches of each concept for evaluation and guided a process of stakeholder and public involvement. Through the process, the project team used the input from these meetings to refine the concepts and work towards a consensus recommendation.
Strengthening The Spine Of The Mendenhall Valley
The recommended corridor concept generally maintains a three-lane section along the length of the corridor, with three roundabouts at key intersections. As the first stage of implementation, two of the three planned roundabouts have been advanced into the design process: a multilane roundabout at the intersection with Stephen Richards Memorial Boulevard, and a single-lane roundabout serving Floyd Dryden Middle School.