State of Alaska and Federal Government Advance Highway Project
Final EIS for Cooper Landing Bypass signed
Image courtesy of PromoRepublic
JUNEAU – The Federal Highway Administration and Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facility signed the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cooper Landing Bypass on the Sterling Highway, which concludes an EIS process that has taken longer than any other in the history of the Federal Highway Administration.
This signing allows the State of Alaska to address the long-standing issues with the Sterling Highway between Milepost 45-60, which does not serve the volume of traffic, fails to meet modern highway design standards, and has safety concerns.
“Everyone who’s driven this stretch of Sterling Highway knows that improvements are needed. I thank our partners at the Federal Highway Administration for hearing Alaskan voices and making this breakthrough,” Governor Bill Walker said. “In particular, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao deserves praise. After visiting Alaska last year, the Secretary prioritized the effort to make an agreement.”
Challenges related to developing the project came from its proximity to the Kenai River and Lake, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Resurrection Pass National Recreation Trail, as well as steep terrain, nearby historic and cultural resource sites, and limited right-of-way.
The public comment period is now open on the identified preferred route by Juneau Creek and will end April 16, 2018. Once the comments are reviewed, a Record of Decision will be released.