(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is wrapping up the 2016 commitments made when the Knik Arm Crossing project was paused. These include completing the right-of-way that was underway, releasing the remaining analysis, and archiving the environmental and design studies for use in the future, including the 2019 report; Knik Arm Crossing project: Analysis for Moving Forward to Financing and Construction. The right-of-way parcel legal settlement is expected to conclude sometime in 2022.
DOT&PF will be examining the importance of the connections between Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley for future transportation projects. Strengthening the connection, either by expanding the Glenn Highway, or creating a new link, such as the Knik Arm Crossing, will be critical in the face of any natural disaster, or even as a relief value should the Glenn Highway experience an unusual disruption due to a crash, weather, or construction activities.
The 2019 report, examined what steps would need to be taken to revive the project after the 2016 “pause” due to the state’s financial situation. Since the commission of this report, Alaska, the nation, and world have gone through many changes and today face a different landscape of federal and state funding for infrastructure. The pandemic, supply chain issues, changes in work patterns, and tightening of the labor pool are all factors that were not considered in the original project, or in this more recent review. The attached report while a comprehensive overview of many factors to consider in evaluating a project of this magnitude, is no longer considered current.
While useful as part of the previous record, at this point, the department can make no claim as to the relevancy or accuracy of the data in the 2019 report. The information provided regarding cost estimates, project schedules, traffic and toll revenue studies, financing, operations and maintenance, right-of-way, stakeholder engagement, and procurement will need to be re-evaluated and updated. The department will continue to work with our federal partners to continue in the completion of commitments made in 2016 when the project was paused.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 35 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 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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