March 02, 2009
"I'm pleased that we were able to work with state legislators and federal agencies to get rolling with the Gustavus project," Governor Palin said. "With approximately $7.7 million in economic stimulus funds, coupled with previously appropriated National Park Service funds, this project can now move forward. This new causeway will create good paying jobs and will be a great benefit to the community."
The existing causeway was built in the early 1960s. Age and exposure to severe weather has reduced the safe carrying capacity of the pier to a point where some people are unwilling to use it.
"We will replace the existing state-owned Gustavus pier and causeway, which has been in very poor condition for years and is a safety hazard. The new pier and causeway will be a roll-off and roll-on (RO-RO) marine transfer facility capable of mooring freighters, freight and fuel barges, transport vessels, and sightseeing vessels. This project will greatly improve marine access in and out of the city and the Glacier Bay National Park." said Leo von Scheben, Commissioner for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF).
"The legislature, DOT, the governor, and federal officials worked together to get this project moving. I am confident we will continue working together to ensure economic stimulus transportation funds are efficiently allocated to needed infrastructure projects and good jobs are made available for Alaskans," said Stevens.
Voicing enthusiasm, Thomas added: "This is truly a good shovel-ready project for Alaska and one that provides tremendous benefit to residents and those visiting the community and the national park."
According to a news release, the state DOT&PF has been actively planning and preparing to meet the requirements of receiving and expending economic stimulus highway, aviation, and transit funds for months, including coordinating with the state Office of Management and Budget, state legislators, and federal officials. The Gustavus project needed to move quickly due to the potential loss of National Park Service funds.
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