Juneau Chamber remains committed in its support of Juneau Access

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Chamber of Commerce says its remains firm and committed in its advocacy of the Juneau Access Project.

    That despite last week's action by the Federal Highway Administration to close the books on the project following Governor Walker's decision to choose the "no build" alternative.

    Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott said on Action Line earlier this month that the administration opposed the alternative calling for a road to the Kateziin River and ferry shuttles from there to Haines and Skagway.

    He said the administration would support a proposal for a  road all the way to Skagway, and in his words said, "We would be all over that."

    Chamber President Richard Burns had reaction to that statement on Action Line  Tuesday and brought up a study conducted by the McDowell Group for the  First Things First Alaska Foundation in his response.

    "It's easy to say that," Burns said.   "You have to start somewhere."  

    Burns  mentioned the overwhelming support in the study survey for a hard link all the way the Skagway, but pointed out there was still majority support for the road to Katzehin and ferry shuttles from there.  "So you start somewhere and you do the other part later.  But for now its off to one side.  That's just now.  We'll see what happens."

    With this latest development, the chamber officials were asked how its going to be possible to preserve the funds now in place for the project.  Executive Director Craig Dahl said the fact that the restoration of the majority of funding stripped away last year is an important step.  

    Dahl added that all of the EIS documents are still in place.  "Those documents could be utilized if it comes back to the table so if the administration choose to be pro development and pro infrastructure, then this project could begin a new life."

    Dahl added that the next step would be for the state wanting to take action  and move forward on the project.



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