The proposed Juneau Road would add 50 miles of new road from Echo Cove (40 miles north of Juneau), dead-ending at a new ferry terminal on the Katzehin River. From there, drivers would have to catch a shuttle ferry to Haines or Skagway. This two-lane road would cross 36 avalanche chutes and miles of unstable, difficult terrain, creating an expensive to maintain and dangerous gauntlet for winter drivers and workers.
According to a report released in July 2009, the Federal Highway Administration estimates the total project cost at nearly 500 million taxpayer dollars! And that doesn't account for recent and projected inflation.
At a time when federal transportation funding is declining, this project is an expensive and unreasonable proposal that would pull resources from more pressing transportation needs.
It's back. After the courts invalidated the state's environmental impact statement due to bias against ferries, the state has begun preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Juneau Road. There will be two opportunities for the public to comment.
Public comment for the scoping phase of the SEIS process is now closed, but check back here for new information and to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement when that is released.
Steep Not Cheap video (YouTube)