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  6.  | Road Projects on Schedule Despite Delayed Federal STIP Approval

Road Projects on Schedule Despite Delayed Federal STIP Approval

Apr 10, 2024 | Construction, Government, News, Transportation


Delayed approval of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in late March shouldn’t spell project delays this year, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) communications director Shannon McCarthy says.

97 Percent Approved

The STIP represents more than $5 billion of transportation investment in the state over four years. It includes interstate, state, and some local highways, bridges, ferries, and public transportation, but the plan does not include airports or non-ferry-related ports and harbors. It covers all system improvements for which partial or full federal funding is approved and that are expected to take place during the four-year duration of the STIP.

Federal officials initially rejected the plan in February. A twenty-four page joint Federal Planning Finding letter requested numerous corrective actions and recommended several improvements, yet the letter also commended DOT&PF’s active participation and sharing of information at an annual meeting of federal land management agencies.

DOT&PF was instructed to submit a revised STIP, which it did. The revised STIP was ultimately approved.

Current Issue

Alaska Business June 2024 Cover

June 2024

“We appreciate the federal agencies’ considerable engagement on the March 1 submittal and the DOT&PF staff for putting together this new STIP in record time,” says DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson. “Alaska’s project development will continue seamlessly, and our upcoming construction season will be robust.”

FHWA identified 6 out of the 234 projects and programs submitted that require further amendments. Read the approval letter and Federal Planning Finding review letter here. Anderson says DOT&PF will consult with FHWA on the 6 remaining projects and programs to address the federal findings for future STIP amendments and project approvals.

Associated General Contractors of Alaska Executive Director Alicia Amberg welcomed the news that the STIP was accepted. Her association represents more than 600 general contractors, specialty contractors, and associate members that are connected to the construction industry.

“AGC is pleased to see a resolution between DOT and FHWA by the March 31 deadline. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with DOT to ensure efficient, timely project award and delivery for the 2024 construction season and stability for future projects,” she says.

McCarthy says many of the projects planned this year were obligated between November and February, meaning the 2024 construction season is on track already.

“We have 150 projects in construction this year,” she says, with 57 continuing projects and 93 new projects in construction this year. Most of those were funded either under the 2020-2023 STIP or through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, she says.

“We feel like the construction season is ready to go,” McCarthy says.

Alaska Business June 2024 cover
In This Issue
Delivering Anchorage's Promise
June 2024
Welcome to the June 2024 issue, which features our annual Transportation Special Section. We've paired it this year with a focus on the Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i, as Alaska has close ties to both that reach far beyond lines of transportation. Even further out past our Pacific Ocean compatriots and our Canadian neighbors to the east, Alaska's reach extends to India and Singapore. Enjoy this issue that explores many of Alaska's far-flung business dealings.
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