Glenn Highway

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Alaska 1 shield.svg I-A1.svg

Glenn Highway
Route information
Length: 179 mi[1] (288 km)
Major junctions
West end: Anchorage near Merrill Field
East end: AK-1 / AK-4 in Glennallen
Highway system

The Glenn Highway (part of Alaska Route 1) is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska, extending 179 miles (288 km) from Anchorage near Merrill Field to Glennallen on the Richardson Highway. The Tok Cut-Off is often considered part of the Glenn Highway, for a total length of 328 miles (528 km).

Route description[edit]

The Glenn Highway near Gunsight Mountain

The longest stretch of freeway in Alaska runs mostly along the Glenn Highway, beginning in north Anchorage, continuing onto the Parks Highway at the interchange of the two roads, and ending in the city limits of Wasilla, for a total of approximately 38 miles (61 km). This 38-mile (61 km) portion of the Glenn Highway is the only road access to Anchorage for most of the state (with the exception of the Kenai Peninsula on the Seward Highway), and as such is the main traffic corridor for Anchorage's suburbs in the Chugiak-Eagle River and Mat-Su areas. The highest point on the highway is 3,332 feet (1,016 m) at Eureka Summit, which sits on the divide between the Chugach and Talkeetna mountain ranges.[2]

History[edit]

The highway originated as the Palmer Road in the 1930s, to reach the agricultural colony at Palmer. During World War II it was completed to Glennallen as part of a massive program of military road and base building that also resulted in the Alaska Highway,[3] and connected Anchorage to the continental highway system.[4]

It is named for Captain Edwin Glenn, leader of an 1898 U.S. Army expedition to find an Alaska route to the Klondike gold fields[citation needed] (the eventual Richardson Highway). The highway was paved in the 1950s.

Paleontology[edit]

The "Talkeetna Mountains Hadrosaur" specimen was discovered in 1994 in a quarry being excavated for road material.[5] That fall, excavation began, and was resumed in the summer of 1996.[5] The quarry is near the Glenn Highway, approximately 150 miles northeast of Anchorage.[6] This was the first occurrence of a hadrosaur in south-central Alaska, a new high-latitude source of dinosaur fossils, one out of only four vertebrate fossils from the entire Wrangellia Composite Terrane, and the first associated skeleton of an individual dinosaur in Alaska.[7]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile km Destinations Notes
Municipality of Anchorage 0 0 Airport Heights Drive Western terminus. Roadway continues west as 5th Avenue
Bragaw Street
Boniface Parkway
Turpin Street Eastbound exit and entrance
Muldoon Road
Arctic Valley Road Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
D Street
Eagle River Loop Road
Artillery Road
Ekluntna Park Drive
South Birchwood Loop Road
Birchwood Loop Road
Voyles Boulevard
Lake Hill Drive
Paradis Lane No access westbound to Paradis Lane
Old Glenn Highway Eastbound entrance and exit
Eklutna Village Road
Old Glenn Highway No access to Old Glenn Highway eastbound
Matanuska-Susitna Knik River SFC James Bondsteel Bridge of Honor across the Knik River
Knik River Access
Gateway AK-3 north (George Parks Highway) – Wasilla, Fairbanks
Northern end of freeway
Palmer Palmer-Wasilla Highway
Unorganized Glennallen 179 288 AK-1 / AK-4 (Richardson Highway) – Valdez, Tok
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Gallery[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Pasch, A. D., K. C. May. 2001. Taphonomy and paleoenvironment of hadrosaur (Dinosauria) from the Matanuska Formation (Turonian) in South-Central Alaska. In: Mesozioc Vertebrate Life. Ed.s Tanke, D. H., Carpenter, K., Skrepnick, M. W. Indiana University Press. Pages 219-236.

External links[edit]

Media related to Glenn Highway at Wikimedia Commons