FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2016
Senator Egan Disappointed in Governor’s Decision on Juneau Access
JUNEAU – Senator Dennis Egan reacted angrily today to Governor Bill Walker’s decision to stop progress on the Juneau Access project. “I’ve supported this project since statehood. I’m very disappointed my three largest communities will lose the benefit from improved transportation, commerce and tourism,” Egan said. The project, to build 50 miles of highway from Juneau toward Skagway and the continental road system, came to a halt with Walker’s announcement today that he selected the ‘no build’ alternative.
The State of Alaska does not have a project as “shovel-ready” as Juneau Access. The fact that the project financing was complete and the state’s portion of funds were already appropriated makes this decision by Governor Walker doubly disappointing. Years of planning and millions of dollars’ worth of financial and environmental analysis are now wasted.
“I had several meetings with the governor to tell him about the benefits to both industry and individuals: jobs, travel, lower freight costs, and better access to and from the state capital,” Egan said. “There’s no disputing it, the jobs this access project would create could have helped stabilize the entire region.”
Speaking to the importance of the Juneau Access project and the loss of federal dollars that go with it, Egan said, “In this day and age when everybody is tightening their belts, it’s difficult for me to understand the thinking that rejects moving forward with jobs and economic growth. This was a necessity, not a want.”
Contact: Senator Dennis Egan – 907-465-6419