Sterling Highway

Alaska State Troopers

A Kenai man died Tuesday night when his car rolled over near Clam Gulch, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Alaska State Troopers

A crash on the Sterling Highway left two Kenai Peninsula residents dead this weekend, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said 55-year-old Fedos Martushoff, of Sterling, and 26-year-old Matthew Shull, of Seward, died when their cars collided around 6:20 p.m. Saturday, near Mystery Creek Road at mile 64 of the Sterling Highway.

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Transportation

Maintenance crews said last weekend’s landslide at Milepost 50, near Cooper Landing, was over twice as large as they originally estimated, measuring about 250 feet wide and six to eight feet deep.

Department of Transportation

Regardless of how the tourism season shapes up, Cooper Landing will have over 100 new faces this summer.

They’ll be in town to work on the Sterling Highway bypass project, the plan to divert traffic between mileposts 45 and 60 of the highway up to a bridge across Juneau Creek Canyon. Construction is ramping up on the project this summer.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Funny River Road, the Seward ferry terminal and a well-traveled stretch of the Sterling Highway are all on the shortlist for upgrades from the Alaska Department of Transportation.

City of Soldotna

An 11-year old Soldotna boy was killed in a collision Wednesday on the Sterling Highway, near Mackey Lake Road. 

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

With more than a third of the design complete, the Alaska Department of Transportation wants to hear from the public about its plan for the Sterling Highway bypass, between mileposts 45 and 60.

Members of the public can view the online presentation and contact DOT with questions until Nov. 5. Project staff took questions and comments via live online chat this evening.

There was also an in-person Q&A scheduled for this Thursday in Cooper Landing, though that has since been canceled due to low RSVPs.


Design work is continuing on the Sterling Highway Mile 45 to 60 project, otherwise known as the Cooper Landing bypass. The Department of Transportation’s schedule calls for work to begin in 2020, with the project open to traffic in 2025.

Katherine Wood, public outreach lead with HDR, the engineering firm doing the design for the project, gave an update in Cooper Land on Feb. 25. The project will be tackled in five phases. Phase one is improving the existing highway at either end of the project. Phase two is constructing a bridge over Juneau Creek.

Phase three is creating an embankment on the east end of the project where the new road will leave the existing highway near the Quartz Creek Road intersection and head up to the Juneau Creek crossing. Phase four is constructing the new highway to the west of Juneau Creek to where it rejoins the existing highway at Mile 56. Phase five is finish work — signage, striping and creating a new trailhead for Reserection Pass Trail.

“Our overall schedule really hasn’t changed. The west piece of the on-alignment part of the project will be bid to a contractor this fall to enable construction to start next year. And the east will be bid in 2021,” Wood said.

A Sterling couple died in a vehicle collision just after noon Friday at Mile 90.5 of the Sterling Highway just east of Soldotna, near the Jim Dahler Road-Forest Lane intersection

Power restored to mot HEA customers

Dec 5, 2019


Some Kenai Peninsula residents were still without power Thursday, with more than a foot of snow in some areas weighing down power lines and trees.

According to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, the traffic on the Sterling Highway is flowing once again. The OEM advises travelers that fire activity can change rapidly and delays can still occur at any time so be prepared for a long delay.

If you must travel, they recommend a full tank of fuel for your vehicle, and to bring water, snacks and other essential items with you.

Sterling Highway reopened at 10 a.m.

Aug 20, 2019

      After closing again Monday night due to increased wildfire activity and dense smoke along the Sterling Highway west of Cooper Landing, the authorities opened one lane at 10 o'clock this morning.

Pilot cars will escort 50 cars at a time in alternating directions of the 24-mile affected stretch of highway between mileposts 53 and 77. Cars are reportedly backed up for several miles on both sides of the closure.

Swan Lake fire work continues along Sterling highway

Jun 27, 2019
Mike Hill/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge


When the Incident Command team running operations on the Swan Lake fire met with community members last week, it was the number two priority fire in the state. Since then, total personnel working just outside Sterling has almost doubled.

Outside 'hotshots' join Swan Lake Fire effort

Jun 20, 2019
Alaska Division of Forestry

Though the Swan Lake Fire, which has been burning for two weeks north of Sterling, has been growing slowly, and not toward civilization, fire managers are nonetheless bringing in five elite "hotshot" fire crews from the Lower 48. The 100 hotshots join 169 others already fighting the blaze.

The fire is now estimated at over 16,000 acres, or 25 square miles.


  Residents beware -- there's going to be a lot more traffic on Kalifornsky Beach Road for the next week.

It's the result of work being that will close the Sterling Highway to all through-traffic between miles 105 and 107 starting at 8 p.m. tonight (Friday).

The closure is to replace the Coal Creek Culvert, though southbound traffic will have to detour onto K-Beach Road about 15 miles ahead of that spot in Soldotna. Northbound through-traffic will be diverted at the south end of K-Beach Road.

Road work continues as mild weather persists

Sep 26, 2018

The lingering late-summer weather has allowed contractors to make good headway on Central Peninsula highway work this month, some of which was suspended during the height of RV Season.

“We’re having incredibly good weather for this additional work. A lot of projects were able to get underway," said DOT spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy in Anchorage.

"But it is real nice to get a jump on it and take advantage of the great weather while the traffic volumes are a little lower.”

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

How far back does your memory of Soldotna go? Do you recall the old two-lane Sterling Highway bridge over the Kenai River, before the current one was finished in 2007? How about the one before that, started in 1948, when the Alaska Road Commission was just beginning to push the Sterling Highway on toward Kasilof?

Al Hershberger does. That first bridge is what brought him to Soldotna.

Fatalities, accidents mount as summer traffic grows

Jul 23, 2018

Thursday was an especially deadly day on the roads near the Sterling Highway.

Yesterday around mile 58.7 afternoon at about 1:23 p.m. Troopers received a report of a rock that went through the windshield of a Volkswagen GTI hatchback, striking the middle passenger in the back, before bouncing back out of the car. Killed was 8-year-old Noah Schwebach of Eagle River.

Though the rock was about the size of a volleyball no one else in the Hatchback was injured. Next of kin was on scene.

Two motorcyclists crash, one dead, one critical

Jun 13, 2018

One man was killed and another suffered life-threatening injuries in a two-motorcycle accident Tuesday night. The crash closed the Sterling Highway for a time near mile 115 around 10 p.m.

According to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch, the men were riding separate 2007 Harley Davidsons when they lost control in a corner, went off the road and crashed in the ditch.

Dead at the scene was 62-year-old Thomas Clinton Salmon of Soldotna.



Commuters on the east portion of Kalifornsky Beach Road may have already noticed, but all drivers should be aware that the temporary traffic signals that are being installed are not the standard type that can detect stopped and waiting cars.

According to the Alaska DOT project "Navigator" website, these lights are on a timer, not detection, so the usual signal patterns drivers may be accustomed to have changed.

Route finalized for Cooper Landing bypass

Jun 1, 2018
National Highway Administraton

  Well, it's official: The Juneau Creek Alternative will be the route the Sterling Highway will take in future years as it skirts around Cooper Landing. The decision was made final on Thursday by the Federal Highway Administration.


Among other changes planned for highway travel through Cooper Landing, a speed limit change could also be on the horizon.