Increase Cost Reflects National Trend
November 02, 2007
Construction costs nationwide have been soaring since 2004 and Alaska sees even higher increases. In Alaska, earthwork has increased by as much as 55% and the asphalt mix used on roads has increased 85% since 2004. The cost of steel used to build bridges and ferries has gone up nationally 100% during that same time period.
The inflation of construction costs is reflected in the increase in the cost of Juneau Access. The initial estimated cost, completed in 2005, was $258 million. The new cost is $350 million in 2007 dollars, plus an estimated 4% annual inflation to the year of construction for each stage.
The Juneau Access selected action consists of a 50.8 mile extension of Glacier Highway from Echo Cove to just north of the Katzehin River and includes construction of a ferry terminal and shuttle ferries that will operate between Haines, Katzehin and Skagway.
"The cost increase does not affect the overall economics of the project" DOT&PF Southeast Regional Director Malcolm Menzies stated "since the costs of all transportation modes including construction and operations have increased in this same period. For instance, the cost of a new mainline ferry, estimated at $120 million in the 2004 Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan, is now estimated at $250 million."
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