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Governor Supports Increased Access
Murkowski Thanks Legislature for Supporting Access House
and Senate Takes Strong Stand for Juneau Access


March 22, 2005

Juneau, Alaska - House and Senate leaders took a strong stand today in favor of improving access to the state's capital by passing resolutions in each body in support of a road between Juneau and Skagway, Governor Frank H. Murkowski said.

The House passed House Resolution 7 and the Senate passed Senate Resolution 2, both of which support the Juneau Access Preferred Alternative 2 on the final day of public comment for the Environmental Impact Statement on this issue.

"A road into Juneau will make the capital more accessible for a greater number of Alaskans and help in keeping the Alaska Marine Highway System on more stable fiscal footing," Murkowski said. "The Lynn Canal Road is an important component of my vision for improved transportation in Southeast Alaska."

A road between Juneau and Skagway with a short ferry connection to Haines will save more than 5,000 hours of vessel time annually for the Marine Highway System and save the ferry system more than $8 million each year. Over 50 years, constructing a road between the two communities would also match the current capital and maintenance costs for one mainline ferry, but operating costs are much less for the road.

The Lynn Canal Road would result in a more economical alternative for Alaskans and visitors (a family of four spends about $500 for round trip passage) to Southeast Alaska. In addition, the AMHS now carries only about 30,000 vehicles per year on its Juneau-Skagway run while the demand is 180,000 vehicles per year.

"There is ample justification for building a road between Juneau and Skagway and I am glad that the Legislature has taken the leadership necessary to deliver this very clear message," Murkowski said. "Southeast Alaska will have a better transportation system when our vision of putting in roads where practical and ferries where necessary is achieved."

Source of News:

Office of the Governor
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