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5/12/2018
Borough to hold special meeting

By ZACHARY HALASCHAK
Daily News Staff Writer

By the fall of 2020 construction is expected to be completed on the Revilla and Gravina ferry terminal improvement project — and on Monday the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will hold a special meeting to discuss the project and provide input to the Alaska Department of Transportation.

Kirk Miller of DOT will present an overview of the plan and proposed changes, allowing the Assembly to provide direction as to how they want to proceed with the project.

The project itself is years in the making. Originally, plans were in the works to build a bridge between Revillagigedo Island and Gravina Island, but those were dashed after support for the project was rejected under the Palin administration.

The proposed connection, derided as a “bridge to nowhere” by critics, ultimately ended up entering the national political lexicon during the 2008 presidential election as an example of wasteful government spending.

Now, a much more watered down version has been approved that would improve access between the two islands by bolstering the ferry terminals and waiting areas, as well as expanding parking.

During the Assembly work session, Miller is expected to present details about the project. An attachment to the agenda item for Monday’s meeting includes a timetable for the project.

Phase one: Duration, six months — key elements include improvements to North Tongass Highway, repairing and reconstructing drainage culverts, adding a backup generator building, a new ferry berth bulkhead and temporary parking. The existing ticketing kiosk also is planned to be relocated.

Phase two: Duration, six months — key elements include a parking lot on the north side, the addition of staging lanes, passenger waiting building foundation and underground utilities, an equipment storage building and the demolition of existing restrooms. Temporary porta potties will be set up, as well.

Phase three: Duration, three months — key elements include the addition of a south parking lot, loading zone canopies, site lighting and the completion of the passenger waiting building.

Phase four: Duration, three months — key elements include the completion of the loading zone and ferry exit lanes as well as the loading zone canopies. In addition site lighting and cameras are planned to be installed.

Monday’s special meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly chambers, 1900 First Ave. There will be time for public comment at the beginning of the meeting.