SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan to Shelter Cover Road Project to be Discussed
By Mary Kauffman


August 29, 2011

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska –The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has scheduled an open house on September 7, 2011 to discuss the proposed Shelter Cove Road Project. DOT will provide information on the project planning activities to date and the open house will give the public an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

The proposed road project would provide vehicle access to Shelter Cove on Carroll Inlet, 22 air miles northeast of the City of Ketchikan, Alaska. The Ketchikan to Shelter Cove Road would allow the public increased opportunities for recreation, subsistence hunting and gathering, tourism, and small scale economic development consistent with public land use plans and policies. Results of a previous household survey conducted in Ketchikan identified increased public access for these various activities as an unmet need.

The proposed Shelter Cove Road project would construct a new single lane, rock and gravel road between two existing low-standard roads. Several potential corridors are being considered including a reciprocal easement between the State of Alaska and the US Forest Service.

If funding is adequate, the low-volume road would extend from the end of Revilla Road at Harriet Hunt Lake all the way to the Shelter Cove road system administered by the Forest Service. It is proposed that the Alaska Department of Transportation accept the road maintenance until the road reaches the Forest Service boundary and the Forest Service would accept long term maintenance of the portion of the road on federal lands.

jpg Ketchikan to Shelter Cover Road Project to be Discussed

Length of the road is proposed to be 8.3 miles unless alignment changes are required as part of the permitting process. The new road will provide public access to Shelter Cove and forest resources accessed by the contiguous national forest road system. The road standard would be a 14 foot wide, single lane, gravel and rock surfaced road with turnouts.

The total cost of the project is projected to be $20,000,000. During Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration, this road connection was added to the Roads to Resources program and scheduled to be funded out of the Alaska Department of Transportation's General Fund.

In 2001, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough passed a resolution (Resolution 1363) supporting this project and the borough submitted a Forest Highway Proposal application at that time. Unfortunately, the proposed road standard was too costly. Also, portions of the road location would require a right-of-way from Cape Fox Corporation and they were not supportive at that time.

In 2006, Mental Health Trust sold timber from the Leask Lakes parcel near the head of George Inlet to Alcan Timber Company. Low standard roads to remove this timber were constructed resulting in additional road segments available for reconstruction and use in this project.

In 2007, the Forest Service reconditioned and resurfaced road segments in their ownership that would link this completed road system and it is anticipated the Forest Service would accept the long-term maintenance of the portion of the road crossing federal land.

Cape Fox Corporation has also written a letter of support and agreed to provide a public right-of-way through their private lands.

The Alaska Department of Transportation also requests information and comments on resources in the study area that may be affected, including historic properties, archaeological sites, wetlands, and floodplains. If you would like to submit comments outside the public meeting scheduled for September 7th, contact:

Dan Garner, P.E.
6860 Glacier Highway
P.O. Box 112506
Juneau, AK 99811-2506
Phone: 907-7-465-1851

The deadline for submitting comments is September 24, 2011. If you or someone you represent requires special accommodations in order to participate in this meeting, call or email the project manager or call Alaska Relay at (800) 770-8973 for TTY, (800) 770-8255 for voice, (800) 770-3919 for ASCII, (866) 355-6198 for STS and ask the communications assistant to call the project manager so arrangements can be made to assist you.

The open house will be held at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Office Assembly Chamber located at 1900 1st Avenue on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011. The public is invited to attend any time between 12:00 pm noon and 2:00 pm and again between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.


Graphic courtesy:

Alaska Department of Transportation




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