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DOT&PF Releases 2010-2013 Draft STIP for Public Comment

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has released the draft version of the 2010-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

The STIP is a four-year highway spending plan describing how Alaska will use federal funds to implement the state's long range transportation plan. The release of the draft STIP initiates the public participation process necessary prior to the release of federal funds to the state.

The proposed STIP is based on estimates of federal funding that may be available to DOT&PF. Congress has not completed the transportation authorization legislation that would provide actual funding amounts.

"We prepared the STIP knowing Congress might substantially change how and for what federal funds can be used for," said Jeff Ottesen, DOT&PF's director of program development. "The projects in the STIP are based on a realistic assessment of federal funds expected to be available to support Alaska's growing transportation needs. While we would like to know the exact amount of federal funds available to us, a 2010-2013 STIP must be in place this fall in order for the state to receive any federal transportation funds."

One particular project in the draft STIP will widen Knik-Goose Bay Road to a divided, four-lane facility from Centaur Avenue (near the Parks Highway) to Vine Road, a distance of 6.5 miles. The project includes separated bike/pedestrian facilities and appropriate safety engineering strategies such as rumble strips. Additionally this project will reduce and combine access points as this is one of the most effective solutions to eliminate crashes along this road. The project is designed for construction in multiple phases to fit funding.

Another project proposed for funding in the STIP is the Alaska Class Ferry. This project will design and construct an efficient and environmentally responsible vessel to meet the future needs of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

The public comment period ends Oct. 2. Comments to the STIP and can be sent to DOT&PF by electronic mail via dot.stip@alaska.gov or to P.O. Box 112500, Juneau, AK, 99811-2500.

The STIP amendment is available online electronically in a searchable format at:
http://www.dot.state.ak.us/stwdplng/cip_stip/index.shtml . It can also be searched by election districts.

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