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Governor Parnell Moves to Extend Glacier Highway

December 7, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska  - Governor Sean Parnell announced today that the state will extend the Glacier Highway in Juneau to better provide safe access to the Cascade Point area and public lands north of the capital city. The current 2.9-mile road from Echo Cove to Cascade Point is only 20 feet wide, does not have a drivable surface and has not been open to the public.

"We recognize the importance of providing safe roads for Alaskans," Governor Parnell said. "We look forward to improving the road and making it available to more Juneau residents."

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) plan to widen the existing road to 26 feet and provide a drivable gravel road surface. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service easement permits must be modified for this project. There will be an opportunity for public comment as part of the Corps of Engineers permit revision.

"We don't anticipate any problems or delays with the permit modifications," said Leo von Scheben, DOT&PF commissioner. "The Corps of Engineers and the Forest Service originally permitted the project for a 26-foot wide road."

DOT&PF officials expect to complete the design and obtain permits and easements by next May, with construction beginning in August. DOT&PF will stop work during the winter of 2010 and resume the following spring, with completion expected in July 2011, when the road will be opened to the public.

The estimated cost of the Glacier Highway extension is $5 million, which was appropriated by the Legislature in 2005.

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