The Wasilla to Big Lake area of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough has grown rapidly in recent years, resulting in more land development and local traffic, and corresponding vehicle crashes. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) has designated the Parks Highway from Lucus Road to the Alaska Railroad Houston crossing as a Traffic Safety Corridor (see highway safety corridor maps) due to the high rate of fatal and severe injury crashes in the area. ADOT&PF is in the environmental assessment phase of a project to upgrade the Parks Highway from Lucus Road to Big Lake Road, milepost 44-52, to a 4-lane divided highway with limited access.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough, ADOT&PF and City of Wasilla recognize the need for additional collector roads to be constructed in conjunction with the future Parks Highway upgrade. Discussions and cooperation between the agencies have resulted in the Machen Road Extension project on the north side of Parks Highway, and the related Museum Drive Extension project on the south side.
Funds to construct the Parks Highway: Lucus Road to Big Lake Road project may not be available for years, and the project does not include funding to purchase right of way for sufficient frontage roads. However, funds to design and construct the Museum Drive Extension and Machen Road Extension are available now. These projects will help alleviate traffic congestion, reduce accidents, better distribute local traffic, and improve access to the local community and businesses.