(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) today announced that the Gravina Access Project Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) will be made available Friday, June 21, 2013 for public review and comment. The 45 day public comment period will close August 13, 2013.
ADOT&PF, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), developed the Gravina Access Project to improve public access between Revillagigedo Island and Gravina Island. In 2004, the department and FHWA issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement identifying a preferred alternative that would require two bridges across the Tongass Narrows at Pennock Island. In 2007, Governor Palin directed the department to look for the most fiscally responsible alternative instead of proceeding any further with the project. Given the change in the proposed action, ADOT&PF is required to prepare the SEIS in order to propose a new course of action.
The department has identified six reasonable build alternatives in the Draft SEIS, which comprise of two bridge and four ferry options that would improve access to Gravina Island. The department will review and use the public’s comments as a basis for selecting a preferred alternative to include in the Final SEIS.
The Draft SEIS will be available online at the Gravina Access Project website: dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/gravina_access. Printed copies may be found at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, City of Ketchikan and City of Saxman offices; the Ketchikan Indian Community and Organized Village of Saxman offices; and the Ketchikan and Metlakatla public libraries. ADOT&PF Southeast Region will also have a printed copy available in Juneau.
Public comments may be submitted via the online comment form on the project website. Comments submitted by mail, fax and email will also be accepted. In addition, a public open house and public hearing will be held in Ketchikan July 17, 2013. More information may be found online at the project website.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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