(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), in consultation with the Federal Highway Administration, today announced the extension of the public comment period for the Juneau Access Improvements Project Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).
Previously scheduled to end Nov. 10, the public comment period will now close Nov. 25.
The Draft SEIS may be found online at juneauaccess.alaska.gov or as a printed copy at the following locations: Juneau Public Library, Douglas Public Library, Mendenhall Public Library, Haines Borough Public Library and Skagway Public Library.
In October, ADOT&PF hosted an open house and public hearing in Juneau, Haines and Skagway to present the Juneau Access Improvements Project Draft SEIS and record public testimony.
Public comments may be submitted via:
The purpose and need for the Juneau Access Improvements Project is to provide improved transportation to and from Juneau within the Lynn Canal corridor that will reduce travel times, state and user costs, and provide capacity to meet demand and improve opportunity to travel. The Draft SEIS provides a detailed overview of potential surface transportation alternatives between Juneau and the communities of Haines and Skagway.
ADOT&PF and the Federal Highway Administration have identified Alternative 2B, known as the East Lynn Canal Highway, as the preferred alternative. This alternative connects the existing Juneau road system at Echo Cove to the Katzehin River Delta approximately 48 miles north. Ferry shuttle service would then be provided between Katzehin, Haines and Skagway. A separate shuttle ferry would also operate between Haines and Skagway during the summer.
In 2006, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision for the Juneau Access Improvements Project. A 2009 U.S. District Court decision ruled the FEIS was not valid because it did not consider an alternative that would improve surface transportation in Lynn Canal with existing ferry assets. This ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2011.
In September 2011, ADOT&PF announced that it would begin the process with the Federal Highway Administration to complete a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Juneau Access Improvements project.
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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