Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Wal-Mart road easement requires traffic study

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Sunday, January 08, 2006

PALMER—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is postponing a decision on a public easement for Wal-Mart until after a suitable traffic plan is developed. The State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities recently found that major traffic issues remain unaddressed in a traffic analysis for the proposed Wal-Mart. The Borough public comment period for the easement closed last Friday. About two dozen people commented, with the number of supporters and opponents nearly even. "Chief among the concerns is the addition of a busy road near homes and a popular exercise path," said Director of Community Development Ron Swanson. On behalf of Wal-Mart Inc., Lounsbury and Associates has applied to the Mat- Su Borough Land and Resource Management Division for a 40-foot public easement along the east boundary of Palmer High School. The easement would be combined with existing footage to build an extension of Felton Street from West Arctic Avenue to the Palmer-Wasilla Highway. An application has also been made to the City of Palmer for a large retail establishment permit to locate a Wal-Mart Superstore along the Palmer-Wasilla Highway, south of the High School. The new Felton Street would serve the proposed store. As a part of the City's permit process, a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) has been completed by Lounsbury and Associates. Both the City and the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities must approve the TIA. The state has raised several concerns, and until a more definitive traffic plan is developed, the Borough will not take action on the easement application. Over the next several weeks, it is expected the State, City, and Lounsbury / Wal-Mart will work to develop a suitable traffic plan for the site. Once that plan is developed, the Borough will schedule a public hearing, probably in early spring. For more information, contact Ron Swanson, director of Community Development 745-9868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.