Alaska may soon spend more on roads, less on trails

| 6/19/2003

Gov. Frank H. Murkowski will soon decide whether Alaska will spend less of the state’s highway funds on such things as rest stops and trails and more on the roads themselves.

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

Sen. Stevens said in a statement that federal laws “mandate that states expend at least 10 percent of federal Surface Transportation Program funds on enhancements such as trails and landscaping, 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 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. It is now awaiting transmittal to the governor for his signature.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at