State grant will ‘spur’ highway project along

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2005

With the help of a $300,000 state grant, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is preparing for the next phase of its long-range project to extend the Kenai Spur Highway northward toward the Gray Cliff and Moose Point subdivisions.

The borough assembly is expected to accept the grant at its Sept. 6 meeting following a public hearing on Ordinance 2005-19-16.

The money will be used to complete an environmental impact statement.

The ordinance also will appropriate $1,464,000 in federal funds and authorize the transfer of another $66,000 in road service area funds to the EIS project.

According to borough officials, the current estimated cost of completing the EIS phase is $2.55 million. The state grant will be used to provide a portion of the 20 percent required borough match, with the balance being covered by the $66,000 transfer of road service area money, according to borough grants manager Bonnie Golden.

The envisioned 26-mile highway job, sometimes called the “north road extension” project, has been a long-range dream for years since the borough began selecting entitlement land along the northwest coast of the peninsula under the Statehood Act.

It is seen as a borough transportation priority by the road service area board and the assembly indicated its support for continuing steps toward actual construction in a resolution earlier this year.

The extension would begin where the paved road ends at Captain Cook State Park and \ continue through contiguous borough property for approximately 26 miles, according to borough planners. The borough owns right-of-way along the entire length of the project.

The EIS phase will include continued preliminary design work already begun in the earlier scoping phase recently completed by the firm MACTEC Inc., according to supporting language in the ordinance.

Enactment of the ordinance would authorize Mayor Dale Bagley to accept the $1,464,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, and the $300,000 from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

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