State Announces New Study of Access to West Susitna River Valley
(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Governor Sean Parnell and Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner Pat Kemp today announced a new resource access study focused on the west side of the Susitna River.
“Surface access would greatly benefit Alaskans and create more economic opportunity in the West Susitna River Valley,” Governor Parnell said. “We remain committed to exploring our options to make the area more accessible.”
DOT&PF has contracted with HDR Alaska, a multi-disciplined engineering and planning firm, to research possible routes and the requirements necessary to connect the resource-rich area west of the Susitna River with the existing road system.
“Finding the safest and most efficient way to cross the river is crucially important and every option will be reviewed,” said Commissioner Kemp. “Limited access to the Susitna River diminishes opportunities for many Alaskans and resource development projects. I must also stress that this is an exploratory study, and there is no plan, project design, or commitment to any subsequent project or process.”
The study will proceed with three basic steps: measure and document the resource development potential; examine crossing options for the Susitna River; and research the best option to reach the river from the existing road system. Completion of the study is anticipated in late summer, 2013.
The department is assembling a distribution list to keep people informed of the study’s progress. Anyone interested may call the Commissioner’s Office in Juneau at 907-465-3900 or in Anchorage at 907-266-2793. A web page on dot.alaska.gov will also be available as the project develops.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 255 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,619 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.