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Environmental Impact Statement; in the Vicinity of the City and Borough of Juneau, AK

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Environmental Impact Statement; in the Vicinity of the City and Borough of Juneau, AK

Robert E. Ruby
Federal Highway Administration
February 10, 1994


[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 28 (Thursday, February 10, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-3146]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: February 10, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

 

Environmental Impact Statement; in the Vicinity of the City and 
Borough of Juneau, AK

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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SUMMARY: The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that an 
environmental impact statement will be prepared for a proposed 
transportation project to provide improved surface access to and from 
Juneau in the Southeast panhandle of Alaska.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Phillip Smith, Field Operations Engineer, Region 10, Alaska 
Division, Federal Highway Administration, P.O. Box 21648, Juneau, 
Alaska, 99802-1648, Telephone: (907) 586-7428, or Mr. Pat Kemp, 
Regional Pre-Construction Engineer, Alaska Department of Transportation 
and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), Southeast Region, 6860 Glacier 
Highway, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-7999, Telephone: (907) 465-4428.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FHWA, in cooperation with the ADOT&PF 
(Southeast Region) will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
for a proposal to build a highway through rugged, mountainous terrain. 
This highway will increase statewide interchange and commerce between 
central, interior and southeast Alaska. It will meet existing and 
future demands for moving vehicles, passengers, and freight between 
Juneau and the land highway network of the North American continent 
(the continental highway system).
    The project eliminates a major gap in the land highway network of 
the North American continent. This network reaches to within fifty 
miles of the Juneau road system. instead of a highway, surface access 
to and from Juneau is provided by scheduled sailings of state ferries. 
The maximum frequency of service is one trip a day during the summer 
months. Demand for travel between Juneau and the continental highway 
system now exceeds the space available for many summer-time sailings. 
It is difficult to reserve vehicle (and sometimes passenger) space for 
many departures. Without reservations, most travelers are unlikely to 
attempt the trip. These service characteristics delay or prevent the 
movement of passengers, vehicles and freight.
    The aim of this project is to provide transportation that is 
available on-demand and at a reasonable cost to both the state and the 
highway user. On-demand transportation means the ability to depart on a 
trip whenever desired, as opposed to tailoring the trip to the 
schedules of either state ferries, air carriers or barge lines. 
Reasonable cost to the highway user means reducing both road and/or 
ferry and barge expenses to expenses comparable to making a similar 
trip on a land highway. In addition, reasonable costs include reducing 
total travel time to less than three hours between Juneau and the 
continental highway system. Reasonable cost to the state means reducing 
and/or eliminating the use of state ferries if substitute service can 
be provided by other means such as a land highway. In support of these 
transportation goals, the Alaska Legislature appropriated funding to 
ADOT&PF for preparation of an EIS for the proposed project.
    Alternatives under consideration include the following: (1) Taking 
no action, in which access to and from Juneau continues to rely on 
state ferries; (2) Constructing a highway from Juneau to the 
continental highway system at Skagway, which includes a bridge to 
Haines. Phased construction would include a ferry shuttle across Lynn 
Canal from a temporary terminal on the Katzehin River flats, which 
could serve Haines and Skagway; (3) Establishing shuttle ferry service 
from the east side to the west side of Lynn Canal, with construction of 
a highway from the east side ferry terminal to the continental highway 
system near Haines. This could include some form of ferry service to 
Skagway; (4) Constructing a highway east from Juneau up the Taku River 
Valley as far as the Canadian border, with a Canadian connection to the 
continental highway system either south of Atlin or west of Dease Lake. 
Both Atlin and Dease Lake are in the province of British Columbia, 
Canada; (5) Enhancing the service capabilities of state ferries between 
Juneau, Haines and Skagway; and (6) Constructing a ``summer-use only'' 
highway on either the east or west sides of Lynn Canal. This 
alternative assumes the road link would not be maintained in the 
winter, when travelers would continue to rely on state ferries. On-
demand transportation would thus be provided during the summer-time 
periods of peak demand.
    Announcements describing the proposed action and soliciting 
comments will be sent to appropriate federal, state, and local 
agencies. They will also be sent to private organizations, businesses 
and citizens known to have an interest in the proposal. Public scoping 
meetings will be held in Juneau, Haines and Skagway in Early March of 
1994. The resulting draft EIS will be available for public and agency 
review and comment. Public hearings will be scheduled to accept formal 
comments on the draft EIS. Public notices will be issued to announce 
the times and places of all meetings and hearings.
    It is important that the full range of issues related to this 
proposed action be addressed and that all significant issues be 
identified, thus comments and suggestions are invited from all 
interested parties. Comments or questions concerning this proposed 
action and the EIS should be directed to the FHWA or ADOT&PFT the 
addresses or phone numbers provided.

    Research, (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 
20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations 
implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental 
consultation of Federal programs and activities apply to this 
program)

    Issued on: January 27, 1994.
Robert E. Ruby,
Division Administrator, Juneau.
[FR Doc. 94-3146 Filed 2-9-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-M



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