“Highway hearing draws protests”
From the Knik Arm Courier, July 6, 1960:
Feelings ran high against the proposed highway changes at the public hearing held at the Chugiak Carnival Hall last week.
Approximately 100 persons attended to voice their dissatisfaction at the prospect of the new road that would bypass Chugiak.
Mr. Lee Hubbard, district highway engineer from Anchorage, and Mr. John Fairley, from the state divisions of highways in Juneau, were there to explain the new route, along with Mr. Robert Johnson, of Eagle River, in an unofficial capacity, who had participated in the survey when he was employed by the BPR.
Mr. Johnson explained that this road would be planned along the lines of federal aid highways in other states, which were being designed with an eye on the traffic requirements in the year of 1975.
He said that eventually it would be a four-lane divided highway, although it was later admitted that the present plans called for a two-lane highway with no definite date to increase it to four lanes.
It seemed to be the opinion of those present that the present (Old) Glenn Highway could be improved to fill all current needs at a much less expense and would also not cause the economic upheaval to the community as rerouting the road would create.
Senator Irene Ryan, who had attended the meeting, said at that time that people in other parts of the state were quite strong in their feelings against the expenditure of highway funds in this area, when most of them were without roads of any description.
Some of the reasons given for the new route were — more suitable terrain, most economical direct route, insufficient right of way on the present (Old) Glenn Highway.
It was mentioned that a great deal of the new road would be on federal land, and that the cost of securing right of ways would be much less than if the present road were to be widened.
It could not be learned at that time when the final decision concerning the change would be made, or who would be responsible for making the decision.
This column is provided by the Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society. Reach them at email@example.com or leave a message at 688-4706.