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Hitting the road this weekend? Watch out for construction zones

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Bay County as crews perform construction and maintenance activities. (MGN)
Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Bay County as crews perform construction and maintenance activities. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 9:45 PM AKDT
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With the Fourth of July landing on a Saturday this year, many Alaskans are hitting the road early for a quick weekend getaway. That means that - between high traffic periods and backups through construction zones - the roads are likely to be quite busy.

However, crews won't be at work over the holiday weekend, which should clear up some of the backups otherwise expected along the two arterial highways cutting through Anchorage.

"Crews will start to lay off Friday morning," said DOT's Shannon McCarthy. "They'll take Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off, so you should be able to get through construction zones unimpeded, with the exception of lower speed limit zones in some areas, different traffic patterns in some areas, and then of course, some different surfaces - gravel patches or some repaving and grinding up the road."

North of Anchorage, a multi-pronged project, including the Eagle River bridge and repairs to an overpass near Auxilary Rd., you'll find several projects that include lane merges and expected bottlenecking on the Glenn Hwy.

Heading south out of Anchorage, four projects are currently underway, McCarthy said, with a fifth beginning later this summer. In town, from Dimond all the way through mile post 114 of the Seward Highway, DOT is also working on a huge pavement preservation job.

Even without crews at work over the weekend, there are a few things you should keep in mind, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, particularly if you're driving through a work zone. You should pay attention to other traffic and be prepared to react as a defensive driver; use extreme caution, especially as surfaces change; adjust your lane position only as needed, and to get away from emergency situations if possible; expect delays; and perhaps even avoid construction routes if there are other ways around.

But no matter what, consider giving yourself some extra time to help make sure you arrive alive.

"Patience," said McCarthy, speaking on what people should remember as they head out this weekend. "Sometimes people get a bit of a competitive streak when driving. Well, it doesn't really matter if you get to your spot five minutes earlier if you don't get there because you've been involved in a crash. It really ruins the whole event."

McCarthy said construction crews will be back at work early Monday.

You can see a full list of state road projects by visiting the

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