We moved to the Mat-Su Valley from Whittier in September 1983. At that time, they had just put in a light at the junction of the Palmer-Wasilla Highway and Trunk Road. There was no left turn lane on Trunk, in either direction. There still isn't. It was and is a dangerous, frustrating intersection. Every politician I've talked to about it over the ensuing 27 years has said that "it will get fixed."
Well, finally, they will all be proven right. The new Trunk Road's first phase, from the Parks Highway to Palmer-Wasilla Highway, is nearing completion. On the north end, there will be a three-way junction with turn lanes for now, with the new road ending at P-W Hwy. Next year, it will be extended to the Bogard Road - Colony High School axis. Then, in a final pohase, it will reach Palmer Fishhook Road, creating a very usable shortcurt for people from Anchorage to Hatcher Pass.
On the Parks Highway end, the first high-traffic roundabout in Mat-Su Valley history was completed early this week. As part of the planning for the road, people were asked about a roundabout. Many felt it was a dumb idea. Others complained that it smacked of "European thinking" or "socialism."
So far, it seems to be working rather well.
Here it is yesterday, looking east, toward Pioneer Peak:
And here's the large, uphill grade, created to the west of the UAF Experimental Farm:
Bonus: Later yesterday afternoon, here's the late afternoon sun on the ridges above the Matanuska River, north of Palmer: