It may soon
be a little easier for freight to make its way to Alaska's capital.
Officials in the state are considering building a road from the
capital, Juneau, to the city of Skagway, according to media reports.
There is no
road connecting the capital city, which lies along the Inland Passage
in the far southeast panhandle of the state, with the rest of Alaska.
Residents can only get there by air or sea ferry.
Press reported Dec. 17 that Gov. Frank Murkowski directed officials
at Alaska's Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to
reopen the environmental impact statement on the effort, which has
been dubbed the Juneau Access Project. The effort had stopped two
years ago when Democrat Tony Knowles was governor.
to the capital city is an important issue for all Alaskans that
has been stalled for several years," Murkowski said in a statement.
option, according to The Juneau Empire, is a 65-mile road to Skagway.
The route would run from Echo Cove, at the end of Glacier Highway,
through the Berners Bay area and beside Lynn Canal to Skagway, which
lies more than 50 miles north of the capital city, near the border
with Canada. A shuttle ferry would connect Skagway to Haines, which
lies to the west across Lynn Canal.
over the road transportation to reach the capital, the project has
important political implications for the state: Some Alaskans think
the road would weaken the argument for moving the capital to south
does face some opposition. Media outlets reported environmental
groups would sue the state to stop the project if they found any
problems in the environmental study or if the road moves ahead.
And the plan is opposed by many people in Haines and Skagway.