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Alaska Railroad Project Open Houses


Alaska Railroad schedules open houses in Anchorage and Wasilla to discuss proposed capital project plans for 2011

Additional open house events in Fairbanks and Seward

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) invites the public to two open houses next week for an opportunity to review and comment on a proposed Program of Projects (POP) for 2011. 

·         Anchorage - 4:00-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 11 - Anchorage Historic Depot, 411 W. First Avenue. Emphasis will be on projects located in and around Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska.

·         Wasilla - 4:00-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 12 - Evangelo's Restaurant, 2530 E. Parks Highway. Emphasis will be on projects located in and around the Mat-Su Valley and Southcentral Alaska.

The open houses will showcase continuing and proposed capital improvement projects that are in various stages - from conceptual planning to engineering and construction. Project managers will be on-hand to explain projects that are located all along the railroad system from Seward to Fairbanks, with an emphasis on projects located in and around Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, Southcentral Alaska and system-wide, including:

·         Port MacKenzie Rail Extension

·         South Wasilla Rail Line Relocation

·         Talkeetna Depot Restroom Facility

·         Curry Quarry Ballast and Riprap Production (supports capital work)

·         Rehabilitate Matanuska River Bridge and other bridge work (rehab and replacement)

·         Ship Creek Intermodal Transportation Center (Phase Two)

·         Historic Freight Shed LEED-certified Office Space Renovation (an Alaska first)

·         Chugach Forest Whistle Stop Service

·         Whittier Yard Security Fencing and Whittier Branch Signalization

·         Commuter Rail Opportunities

·         Positive Train Control

·         Track Rehabilitation, Drainage Improvements and Embankment Protection

The Anchorage and Wasilla events are the first and second in a series of POP Open House events. Open Houses in other locations are scheduled as follows:

·         Fairbanks - 4:00-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 25, at the Alaska Railroad Depot, 1745 Johansen Expressway. Emphasis will be on projects located in Interior Alaska.

·         Seward - 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, February 4 - Breeze Inn, 303 N. Harbor Street. Emphasis will be on projects located in and around Seward and Southcentral Alaska.   

The Alaska Railroad has budgeted approximately $55.9 million in new spending for capital improvements in 2011. About $13.8 million will come from Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants.  This amount includes a required 9% matching contribution from the Alaska Railroad. Other federal funding includes $2.93 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-administered grants and $1.38 million in "Stimulus" (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009) funding.  ARRC will spend another $23.7 million toward internally-funded capital projects using revenues generated from passenger, freight and real estate activity. Finally, the railroad will spend about $14.1 million of funds generated from the sale of revenue bonds that were sold in 2006 and 2007. Bonds are repaid with FTA formula fund appropriations.  

People unable to attend the open house events may visit www.AlaskaRailroad.com for project information.  Questions about the projects or open houses may also be directed to Corporate Communications Officer Stephenie Wheeler at 265-2671.  Written comments may be e-mailed to public_comment@akrr.com or mailed to Alaska Railroad Capital Projects, P.O. Box 107500, Anchorage, AK  99510-7500.

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