Haines doesn't change opposition to Juneau Access Road

    Haines, Alaska (KINY) - The Haines Borough Assembly continues to oppose the Juneau Access Road and took no action on a request for support from the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce.

    Several Haines residents spoke during the public comment period of a recent assembly meeting to voice concerns about the road.

    The letter to Haines, Skagway, and our congressional delegation asks for support to request Congress authorize and include funding for construction of a road to connect Juneau to the continental highway system in the proposed infrastructure bill being considered.

    Haines resident Clay Frick said he was very disappointed in the letter calling it an attempt to try and resurrect the road.   "I believe its an issue that has been debated for 20 years.  For a myriad number of reasons, it is just a bad project.  That money needs to be put into the ferry system that will give us a much better comprehensive access in and out of the community."

    Haines Borough Manager Debra Schnabel said they continue to have the same concerns about the road, "The assembly did not take a position on the letter.  The assembly heard from 15 or 20 people that were opposed to even considering getting back on that road project.  It was deemed to not jump into that fight."

    The letter stated Juneau is the only capital city on the continent without a road connection to the continental highway system.  The lack of 65 miles of roadway isolates Juneau from highway access to Interior Alaska's economic and population centers, neighboring provincial government centers, and the lower 48 states.

    It went on to state that the project would eliminate the socio-economic restrictions imposed by infrequent and costly ferry service.

    The road would provide adequate capacity and free movement of residents, visitors, goods, and services at will.  It also will be more reliable and at less cost to both traveler and commercial carriers of essential goods and freight, the letter added.

    The letter requests congress to issue a notice to proceed with the development of an environmental document in support of constructing the road, direct that all environmental, right of way, engineering studies and design be accomplished under design-construct contracts, and initiate construction in phases or segments as plans and funding is approved by the state

    The cost estimates were $900 million over three years. 

    The letter said the project would stimulate the area economy well into the future.


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