Money in the state budget marked for the stalled Juneau Access Project doesn’t signify any shift in Gov. Bill Walker’s stance against “building the road” to Alaska’s capital city.
“I left that money there because if there’s ways to improve access for Juneau, then that money – they worked hard to get that so it’s there,” Walker said in a Tuesday interview during a visit to Sitka. “So I’m not really making a statement, other than I’m just leaving it there.”
“I don’t want to create any false hope, necessarily, that that is sort of breathing life into something that we have closed,” Walker said.
The governor said the money could be used to support ferry service or other regional transportation improvements. He added he continues to have reservations about the project’s design: extending Juneau’s highway nearly 50 miles north to a ferry terminal on the Katzehin River to link with Haines and Skagway.
“You know, I was certainly concerned about the ferry terminal that was yet to be built, a long ways away from Juneau itself,” the governor said. “I was concerned about the walk-on passengers, how that would work – there was a lot of, you know, the terrain issues, a lot of different things, the litigation. But it’s funding that they fought and worked hard for to get for better access and if there’s other options out there we’d certainly take a look.”
- The plan is for volunteers this summer to prune some encroaching vegetation, and to plant spruce seedlings in the footprint of the peace sign. Eventually, they expect the spruce will outgrow and contrast with the existing alders on the hillside.
- Dunleavy’s office described the events as discussions of the governor’s budget plan and amendment proposals. The next day, Americans for Prosperity Alaska posted online that it was hosting the events, along with terms and conditions for attendees.
- More than 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps Wednesday in Juneau to oppose significant cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System's budget.
- Medicaid is one of the areas of state government where Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration is looking to make the largest spending cuts. Administration officials released details of those changes for the first time Tuesday.