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Alaska Railroad Project Open House January 31 in Fairbanks

Alaska Railroad schedules open house in Fairbanks to discuss proposed capital project plans for 2012
Third in a series of four project open house events

 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) invites the public to an open house 4:00-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, at the Alaska Railroad Depot, 1745 Johansen Expressway in Fairbanks.  The venue provides an opportunity to review and comment on a proposed Program of Projects (POP) for 2012.

The open house 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 within Interior Alaska and system-wide, including:
 
  • Northern Rail Extension (NRE) - North Pole to Delta Junction
  • NRE Phase One - Tanana River Crossing at Salcha
  • Fairbanks Area Rail Line Relocation (FARLR)
  • FARLR Phase One - North Pole Road/Rail Crossing Reduction
  • Embankment Protection along the Nenana River just south of Nenana
  • Nenana Rail Line Relocation
  • Healy Canyon Safety and Reliability Improvements (Stabilization)
  • Up to 15 Culvert Replacements between Talkeetna and Fairbanks
  • Positive Train Control
  • Track Rehabilitation and Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement
 
The Fairbanks event is the third in a series of POP Open House events.  Open houses were scheduled in Anchorage on January 17 and in Wasilla on January 18. The fourth open house is scheduled as follows:
  • Seward - 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, February 17 - 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 $49 million in new spending for capital improvements in 2012.   An additional $68 million is budgeted for two special rail extension projects.  Funding comes from federal, state and ARRC sources. About $11.76 million will come from new Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants.  This amount includes a required 9% matching contribution from the Alaska Railroad. Other federal funding includes $1.26 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-administered grants, $1.43 million from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and $295,000 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A $2.7 million settlement will repair deficient track work originally paid by federal grants. The railroad will also spend about $8 million of funds generated from the sale of revenue bonds that were sold in 2006 and 2007; bonds are repaid with FTA formula funds.  ARRC will spend another $23.5 million on internally-funded capital projects using revenues generated from passenger, freight and real estate business activity. Finally, the State of Alaska appropriated FY2012 budget funds to support two major rail extension projects. $44 million was approved mid-2011 to close the funding gap for Phase 1 of the Northern Rail Extension; and ARRC will manage $24 million of the $30 million approved mid-2011 to pursue Port MacKenzie Rail Extension construction.  

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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