Critics say Alaska's transport funding shortchanges ferries

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Critics said a state plan to use federal transportation funds prioritizes highways and bridges over fixing Alaska’s aging ferry fleet.

    CoastAlaska reported the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program does not include plans to use federal money for improvements to the fleet beyond what is required by funding guidelines.

    The state program leverages nearly $500 million in federal funding to pay for state needs over four years whether improvements are made to roads, bridges or ferries.

    The award includes $16.8 million annually for ferries, although additional money from the federal funds could be budgeted to maintain the ships.

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