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Thread: Commute to Fort Richardson

  1. #1
    Member tonyjoe54's Avatar
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    Default Commute to Fort Richardson

    I am looking at being stationed at Fort Richardson in the next 18 months or so and had a commuter question. I spent 3 years in Fairbanks at Fort Wainwright and loved the state so much I convinced the army to sent me back. This time it looks like I will be on Fort Richardson. I want to purchase a house off base this time and hopefully retire in the area. I am curious what the commute looks like from areas like Palmer to fort Richardson on a day to day basis. I see that it is only about 30-45 miles, but what kind of drive is that on average.

    Thanks for any assistance,
    Tonyjoe

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Roughly the same time frame in miles as you will not get into Anch where it gets snarled up.
    That said, in the winter on a snowy morning it can be much longer, especially if a couple vehicles are in the ditch. Traffic literally comes to a crawl as everybody wants to rubberneck at the scene.
    Most days though it's bumper to bumper doing 65. We have the worst drivers on this road during commuter hours because they don't know how to pass on the left then move back into the right lane. Very frustrating commuting to/from the valley during peak hours.
    If you can avoid the 8-5 rush by working different hours the commute is much better.
    BK

  3. #3

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    45 minutes to 1:15 depending on weather and traffic.. A couple of days I have exceeded that, but that has been the exception..
    Welcome Back - from Palmer!!

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    The biggest problem is there is, of course, only one road, the Glenn. If something happens on the orad and the troppers close it, it'll take a lot longer. Does it happen often? No, a few times usually during the winter. Of course the Ft Rich exit is before you get into Anchorage so you save some time. When I was still on active duty the problem with living out there was getting in during a recall. Eagle River, Peters Creek might be good alternatives.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Figure somewhere between a half dozen and dozen days a year your commute home will double or triple in time due to a wreck or weather. Suprisingly a couple of those times will be in the summer with blue skies.

    I think if you put a dollar amount on your time plus the added fuel and wear and tear on a vehicle you'll find the lower houe prices in the valley aren't such a deal compared to Eagle River, Peters Creek and Birchwood. There is something to be said for a 10-20min commute each way vs. 45-60 minutes each way. And in the 16 years I've been commuting from Eagle River to Anchorage I've only seen the commute get worse. To me an extra hour or two a day is worth alot.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Take a Share-A-Ride van. Not only is it free but an extra nap in the am/pm.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member tonyjoe54's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information. I usually live on post, but this will probably be my last duty station and I wanted to buy a house with some land away from the city a little bit. That was the main reason I was looking at the Palmer area. Hope the Army does not back out on me and I should be back in AK in the next year and half.

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The thing to consider is after you retire do you still plan to work? And if so, are you more likely to be working in the Mat-su or in Anchorage? If you're likely to be working in Anchorage after retirement, then you'll need to tack on another 10-30 minutes each way depending on where you work in town and what your hours are. There are houses on 2.5-5 acre lots in the Birchwood area so it's something to consider.

    Palmer is a nice area, just figure in how much time you'll have to enjoy your home and also consider what directions you'll likely be heading to recreate i.e. fishing and hunting.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  9. #9
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    My house is 44 miles from ft rich. I leave at 0525-0530 i'm on post for pt at 0610-0615. I leave post around 1700-1715 im home by 1825-1830. Winter add to that 15-30 minutes i have bern doing the drive for 3yrs me and the wife we love it out in the valley. We bought two ford focus for the commute in saves a ton of money... One last note the commands here are pretty good about getting you out of here on bad snow days early.. Also they are very understanding if your stuck in traffic on the glenn coming in. Quick call to 1SG and your gtg... I had bc tell company commanders to be more lenient in the winter months due to road conditions..

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