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EDITOR, Daily News:
It’s no secret that Ketchikan’s road system is getting some much-needed and overdue attention. Although road construction can be inconvenient, it will ultimately benefit all residents who use our road system. Over the next three years, the Alaska Department of Transportation has multiple projects planned totaling over $108 million of construction on Revillagigedo Island, as well as more $90 million on Gravina Island access-related projects. These projects include resurfacing most of the Tongass Highway. Their primary goal is improved safety and traffic flow. With all these projects slated for the future, I would like to keep you in the loop on what to expect.
A 2019 upcoming project is the continued construction of Shelter Cove Road, which will be 11 new miles of road beginning at the end of the existing terminus of Harriet Hunt Road, extending to Shelter Cover on Carroll Inlet. It will give us greater access to the interior of our island.
In 2020, we will see the Herring Cove Bridge Improvement, which will include pedestrian facilities on the bridge and intersection improvement where South Tongass meets Powerhouse and Wood roads.
Other projects include improving and replacing bridges and trestles, including Waterfall Creek Bridge, Second Waterfall Creek Bridge, and Sayles/George Street Viaduct; resurfacing North Tongass Highway from the airport to Ward Creek Bridge; and reconstructing roadway and pedestrian access on South Tongass Highway from Deermount to Saxman.
Funding for these projects is almost entirely from federal funds. The state Legislature leveraged nearly $9 in federal funds for every $1 of state funds. Although construction can be a headache, Ketchikan will benefit greatly from these additional funds and proposed projects.
As always, feel free to email me at Rep.Dan.Ortiz@akleg.gov with any questions or concerns.
REP. DAN ORTIZ
House District 36