The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) met for 4 hours on Thursday, October 19, 2023. Discussions centered on TAC motions to forward to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF) and operational traffic impacts of adding ore truck traffic along the route from Tetlin to Ft. Knox. Slides and a recording of the meeting will be posted here. Highlights include:
- Motion #1: The TAC voted 7-2 to ask DOTPF when and who approved Kinross starting its ore haul before the work of the TAC is finished.
- Motion #2: The TAC also voted 5-4 to ask DOTPF to pause the ore haul until the TAC can complete its work and the DOTPF has implemented high priority safety recommendations.
- DOTPF’s Commissioner has the authority to do this per 17 AAC 25.100.
- Traffic flow impacts: Analyzing the level of service (LOS) is a method of rating a road’s operational quality in terms of how well traffic flows.
- LOS on rural highways was not impacted by adding the Kinross ore haulers.
- LOS in urban (Fairbanks) areas was also not found to be impacted substantially, with the following exceptions:
- The Peger Road/Johansen Expressway interchange showed a drop in how quickly traffic could flow through it in the morning peak traffic time.
- The Chena Hot Springs Road roundabout has not yet been analyzed.
- Calculations were for dry road conditions and did not account for inclement weather, traffic accidents or construction delays.
- Intersection maneuverability: Computer modeling indicates the ore trucks can make all turns, in both directions, at Mitchell and Peger, Johansen and Peger, Johansen and Steese, and the Chena Hot Springs roundabout.
- Kinney Engineering has been asking Kinross for field testing confirmation using an actual truck, but Kinross has not agreed to a date yet.
- Kinross stated they are keeping their options open to run double trailers up Cleary Summit when weather conditions allow.
- Kinney Engineering will need to analyze trucks with two trailers maneuvering Skoogy Gulch hairpin turn on the Steese, if this is Kinross’s plan.
The next TAC meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 26, 2023. Details will be posted here.