More Alaska money to go to roads

| 9/9/2003

Alaskans will spend less state highway cash on rest stops and trails and more on the roads themselves under a bill signed into law recently by Gov. Frank H. Murkowski.

SB71, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, will compel the state to spend no more than 10 percent of its federal highway money on such amenities, according to the Legislature's Web site.

Federal laws "mandate that states expend at least 10 percent of federal Surface Transportation Program funds on enhancements such as trails and landscaping," Sen. Stevens said in a statement. "Over the past several years, the state of Alaska has expended amounts well beyond the minimum requirements for enhancements projects that could otherwise be applied to roadway construction and improvement projects."

The law will become effective Oct. 1.

The Senate voted 11-7 in favor of the measure March 17; The House passed the bill by a vote of 26-2 on May 17. Murkowski signed it into law Aug. 20.