Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 17

02/10/2015 01:00 PM House TRANSPORTATION

Audio Topic
01:03:44 PM Start
01:05:10 PM Presentation: Juneau Access Road Project Detail
03:02:14 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Juneau Access Road Project Detail TELECONFERENCED
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Followed by Public Testimony if time allows
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       February 10, 2015                                                                                        
                           1:03 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Shelley Hughes, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Benjamin Nageak                                                                                                  
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION:  JUNEAU ACCESS ROAD PROJECT DETAIL                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MARC LUIKEN, Commissioner Designee                                                                                              
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions and provided a status                                                                 
report on Juneau Access Road Project.                                                                                           
GARY HOGINS, Project Manager                                                                                                    
Division of Statewide Design & Engineering Services                                                                             
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of the                                                                   
Juneau Access Road Project.                                                                                                     
PAT PITNEY, Director                                                                                                            
Office of Management & Budget (OMB)                                                                                             
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  and answered  questions on  the                                                             
Juneau Access Road Project.                                                                                                     
GREGG ERIKSON, Consultant/Owner                                                                                                 
Erikson & Associates                                                                                                            
Bend, Oregon                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the discussion  of Juneau                                                             
Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                                       
TOM BRICE, Lobbyist                                                                                                             
Alaska District Council of Laborers                                                                                             
Laborers Local 942                                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  support of the  Juneau Access                                                             
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
MIKE SCHAEFER, Mayor                                                                                                            
Municipality of Skagway Borough                                                                                                 
Skagway, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  during  the  discussion of  the                                                             
Juneau Access Road Project.                                                                                                     
JAN WRENTMORE, Member                                                                                                           
Skagway Marine Access Commission                                                                                                
Skagway, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the discussion  of Juneau                                                             
Access Road Project.                                                                                                            
RICH MONIAK, Civil Engineer (CE)                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified  in opposition  to  the  Juneau                                                             
Access Road Project.                                                                                                            
CRAIG DAHL, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Juneau Chamber of Commerce                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  support of the  Juneau Access                                                             
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
WAYNE JENSEN, Chair                                                                                                             
Alaska Committee                                                                                                                
Douglas, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  support of the  Juneau Access                                                             
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
MURRAY WALSH                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the discussion  of Juneau                                                             
Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                                       
PAULETTE SIMPSON                                                                                                                
Douglas, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT Testified  in  support of  the Juneau  Access                                                             
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
NANCY WATERMAN                                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the discussion  of Juneau                                                             
Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                                       
EMILY FERRY, Volunteer                                                                                                          
Southeast Alaska Environmental Council (SEAC)                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the discussion  of Juneau                                                             
Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                                       
CLAY FRICK                                                                                                                      
Haines, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  during  the  discussion of  the                                                             
Juneau Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                                
PAUL GROSSI, Lobbyist                                                                                                           
Alaska State Pipe Trades UA Local 262                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  support of the  Juneau Access                                                             
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
COREY BAXTER, District 8 Representative                                                                                         
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  support of the  Juneau Access                                                             
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:03:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SHELLEY HUGHES called  the House Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  1:03 p.m.  Representatives Stutes,                                                               
Claman,  Ortiz, and  Hughes were  present at  the call  to order.                                                               
Representative Foster arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                   
^PRESENTATION:  JUNEAU ACCESS ROAD PROJECT DETAIL                                                                               
        PRESENTATION:  JUNEAU ACCESS ROAD PROJECT DETAIL                                                                    
1:05:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a detailed status report on the Juneau Access Road Project.                                                                     
1:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MARC LUIKEN, Commissioner  Designee, Department of Transportation                                                               
& Public  Facilities (DOT&PF), began  a PowerPoint status  of the                                                               
Juneau Access  Road Project  (JA) by  discussing the  purpose and                                                               
reason to start the project in the  first place 23 years ago:  to                                                               
provide  improved  surface  transportation  to  and  from  Juneau                                                               
within  the  Lynn Canal  corridor.    Originally, the  department                                                               
identified seven  alternatives, but  recently explored  an eighth                                                               
option  as  a  result  of the  draft  Supplemental  Environmental                                                               
Impact Statement (EIS).  He offered to review each alternative.                                                                 
1:09:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES referred  back to  the five  bullets on  slide 2                                                               
that identified the  purpose and need for the  Juneau Access Road                                                               
Project  (JA),   [which  read:  provide  the   capacity  to  meet                                                               
transportation demand  in the  corridor, provide  flexibility and                                                               
improve opportunity  for travel, reduce travel  times between the                                                               
communities,  reduce  state  costs   for  transportation  in  the                                                               
corridor,  and  reduce  user  costs  for  transportation  in  the                                                               
corridor].  She asked whether  the alternatives were evaluated in                                                               
terms of finding  solutions to these five purposes  and needs for                                                               
the Juneau Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                            
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered  yes; the purpose and  need was part                                                               
of the  analysis, such that  each alternative had  various merits                                                               
that met the purpose and need statements.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  whether the  process was  used to  narrow                                                               
down the alternatives to the  one that best provides solutions to                                                               
each of the bullet points.                                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered yes.                                                                                               
1:09:59 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER   LUIKEN  directed   attention   to   the  list   of                                                               
alternatives and  specifically to  Alternative 1B, which  was the                                                               
additional alternative researched as a  result of the court order                                                               
in  2012 [slide  3].   He  reviewed  the remaining  alternatives:                                                               
Alternative 1 would  continue the existing service  in Lynn Canal                                                               
from Auke  Bay [slide 4];  Alternative 1B would  provide enhanced                                                               
service  as  an  alternative  to   the  project  [slide  5];  and                                                               
Alternative 2B would build a road  north from the terminus of the                                                               
Glacier Highway on  the west side of Lynn  Canal terminating near                                                               
Katzehin  [slide 6].    He said  the  draft Environmental  Impact                                                               
Statement (EIS)  and draft Supplemental  EIS list  Alternative 2B                                                               
as the preferred alternative.                                                                                                   
1:12:00 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER    LUIKEN   continued    briefly   describing    the                                                               
alternatives:   Alternative 3 would  provide a ferry  terminal in                                                               
Berners Bay and  another one on the west side  of Lynn Canal with                                                               
a road  going north  from there;  Alternative 4A  would terminate                                                               
the road  in Berners Bay  and provide ferry service  from Berners                                                               
Bay  to Haines  and  Skagway  [slide 8];    Alternative 4B  would                                                               
provide  a similar  alternative, with  the road  terminus in  the                                                               
Berners Bay area; Alternative 4C  would operate ferries from Auke                                                               
Bay  [slide 10];  and Alternative  4D would  build a  terminal at                                                               
Sawmill Cove and operate ferries from   Auke Bay and from Sawmill                                                               
Cove to serve Lynn Canal.                                                                                                       
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN  reiterated  that   the  purpose  and  needs                                                               
statement was  used to examine  the merits  of each of  the eight                                                               
alternatives.  In addition, the  alternatives were analyzed based                                                               
on  consistency with  the  2004  Southeast Alaska  Transportation                                                               
Plan (SATP).  Although the aforementioned plan  has been updated,                                                               
it  is still  in  draft form.   Thus  the  2004 Southeast  Alaska                                                               
Transportation Plan  (SATP) is  the most  current version  of the                                                               
plan, he said.                                                                                                                  
1:14:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR   HUGHES  asked   whether   the  department   identified                                                               
Alternative 2B as the preferred solution.                                                                                       
COMMISSIONER   LUIKEN    answered   that   the    Department   of                                                               
Transportation   &  Public   Facilities  (DOT&PF)   is  currently                                                               
considering all  of the alternatives  for the Juneau  Access Road                                                               
Project (JA).   He reported that the  DOT&PF received substantial                                                               
comment, and  after briefly conferring  with staff,  he confirmed                                                               
that the  public comment  period closed at  the end  of November.                                                               
He  reported  that considerable  work  must  be done  before  the                                                               
DOT&PF   can  reach   a  final   conclusion   on  the   preferred                                                               
1:15:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES related  her understanding  that the  department                                                               
used a matrix to meet the needs  and goals.  She recalled that at                                                               
one point Alternative  2B was identified as  the preferred route.                                                               
She asked whether there were issues with the matrix used.                                                                       
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN   agreed  that   in  2006,   the  department                                                               
originally  assessed the  project  and  determined the  preferred                                                               
route  as Alternative  2B; however,  the current  fiscal forecast                                                               
and budget warrant further consideration  and review to determine                                                               
the DOT&PF's analysis of the data going forward.                                                                                
1:16:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES  asked  if the  department  removed  the  budget                                                               
issues from the  equation, whether Alternative 2B  will best meet                                                               
the bullets listed [on slide 2].                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN suggested  the  next slide  will cover  cost                                                               
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES  asked  to first  consider  whether  the  travel                                                               
demand, capacity,  flexibility, travel times, and  opportunity to                                                               
travel is best met by Alternative 2B.                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN  answered not in his  estimation; however, it                                                               
does  do  so  in  the  estimation  of  those  who  performed  the                                                               
analysis.  In  fact, it was the conclusion the  DOT&PF arrived at                                                               
or  it   would  not  have   been  identified  as   the  preferred                                                               
1:16:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN recalled from  an earlier presentation that                                                               
the administration  will inform  the legislature on  its decision                                                               
on the  Knik Arm Crossing (KAC)  in the next two  to three weeks.                                                               
He asked whether  the administration will use  a similar timeline                                                               
to  reach a  decision  on  the Juneau  Access  Road Project  (JA)                                                               
preferred alternative.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN replied that with  major projects such as the                                                               
KAC,  there  is  always  a  logical next  step  and  during  this                                                               
briefing he  will identify the  logical next step for  the Juneau                                                               
Access Road  Project (JA).   In fact,  his recommendation  to the                                                               
governor will be  to take this project to the  logical next step.                                                               
In  doing so,  it  will  buy the  department  time  to perform  a                                                               
thorough  assessment  before reaching  a  final  decision on  the                                                               
preferred alternative.                                                                                                          
1:18:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked  if the decision would  be reached in                                                               
two or  three weeks  or if  the DOT&PF has  not yet  determined a                                                               
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN answered  that  he did  not  think it  would                                                               
happen in  the next couple of  weeks, but the DOT&PF  will have a                                                               
decision on the logical next step, he said.                                                                                     
1:18:41 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN  directed attention to the  cost factors that                                                               
provide  an  analysis  of  the   costs  the  department  used  to                                                               
determine the preferred  alternative [slide 13].   He pointed out                                                               
the large  range of  the initial project  costs and  project life                                                               
costs for  each alternative.   In addition this slide  also shows                                                               
the estimated net annual general  fund maintenance and operations                                                               
(M&O) cost for  each project.  Finally, the  slide identifies the                                                               
per vehicle  cost based on  driving on  roads or using  the ferry                                                               
system, he said.                                                                                                                
1:19:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked whether  these costs reflect the cost                                                               
of the Alaska Class Ferries (ACFs)  that are required in order to                                                               
serve this  area.   She said  it appeared to  her that  the draft                                                               
Supplemental Environmental  Impact Statement (EIS)  also requires                                                               
additional ferries besides the two  [ACF] ferries scheduled to be                                                               
finished in the next several years.                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered no.   He offered his belief that the                                                               
decision to build the two new  [ACF] ferries was made in order to                                                               
serve Lynn Canal.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked for  further clarification on whether                                                               
the ferries  referred to  in the draft  Supplemental EIS  are the                                                               
two ACF that are currently scheduled to be finished in 2016.                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered yes; that is his understanding.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES said  she  would be  interested in  having                                                               
confirmation of that.                                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN agreed to confirm this.                                                                                     
1:20:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  following  up  on the  two  Alaska  Class                                                               
Ferries (ACFs),  asked whether the  proposed 50-mile road  on the                                                               
east  side would  require additional  ferries to  shuttle between                                                               
the proposed new ferry terminal at [Katzehin] and Haines.                                                                       
1:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  HOGINS, Project  Manager,  Division of  Statewide Design  &                                                               
Engineering  Services,  Department  of  Transportation  &  Public                                                               
Facilities (DOT&PF),  stated that all of  the alternatives except                                                               
the  fast ferry  alternatives use  the two  Alaska Class  Ferries                                                               
(ACFs).   In Alternative  2B the  ACFs would  be used  to shuttle                                                               
between  Katzehin and  Skagway, and  Katzehin and  Haines, but  a                                                               
third vessel  would also need  to be built to  shuttle passengers                                                               
and vehicles between Haines and Skagway.                                                                                        
1:22:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  asked whether  the  costs  for the  third                                                               
vessel are incorporated into the cost factors.                                                                                  
MR. HOGINS  answered that  the cost of  the Alaska  Class Ferries                                                               
(ACFs) is  not included in any  of the alternatives.   In further                                                               
response, he answered that the  ACF vessels were being considered                                                               
to fall  under existing  conditions.   The No  Action Alternative                                                               
accounts for the two ACFs being deployed in Lynn Canal.                                                                         
1:22:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES presumed  that  the cost  of building  new                                                               
ferry terminals  was also  not included in  the cost  factors for                                                               
any of the alternatives.                                                                                                        
MR.  HOGINS  offered his  belief  that  the alternatives  include                                                               
costs for  the new ferry  terminals in Berners Bay,  Katzehin, or                                                               
William Henry Bay  on the west side of Lynn  Canal.  In addition,                                                               
costs  for some  improvements  to Haines  and  Skagway have  been                                                               
included specific to some of the alternatives.                                                                                  
1:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES,  with respect  to  the  No Action  Alternative,                                                               
asked whether it  would cost $300 million to build  a large ferry                                                               
to serve the  Juneau to Haines route with  an anticipated 50-year                                                               
life for the ferry.                                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN offered  to provide  the information  to the                                                               
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  asked for further  clarification on  the project                                                               
MR. HOGINS answered  that the economic analysis  spanned 36 years                                                               
for the Juneau Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                        
1:24:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked for an  estimate of the cost to build                                                               
two vessels - the Alaska Class Ferries (ACFs).                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN  answered that $120 million  was appropriated                                                               
for the  two ACF  ferries.   In further  response, he  agreed the                                                               
appropriation was $60 million for each ACF.                                                                                     
1:25:39 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN reviewed the project  history [slide 14].  In                                                               
1992  the  project  was  initiated,  in  1997  a  draft  EIS  was                                                               
prepared,  and in  2000 the  project was  delayed while  two fast                                                               
ferries were built.  In  2002, former Governor Murkowski directed                                                               
that the EIS be completed.   In 2005 a supplemental draft EIS was                                                               
prepared and in 2006, a final  EIS identified the East Lynn Canal                                                               
Highway as  the preferred  alternative and  a record  of decision                                                               
(ROD) was  issued by the  FHWA [Federal  Highway Administration].                                                               
In August 2006 a lawsuit was  filed in district court against the                                                               
FHWA's decision.                                                                                                                
1:26:45 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN continued  the project  history [slide  15].                                                               
In  February 2009,  the district  court vacated  the FHWA's  ROD,                                                               
concluding that  the FHWA failed  to consider an  alternative for                                                               
improved ferry service using existing  ferries and terminals.  In                                                               
2011, the  DOT&PF appealed  to the 9th  Circuit Court  of Appeals                                                               
and  lost  in   2012,  with  the  recommendation   to  conduct  a                                                               
supplemental  EIS to  consider  the enhanced  ferry  option.   In                                                               
November 2014 the  DOT&PF completed the draft EIS.   The DOT&PF's                                                               
U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers  (USACE) 404/Section 10  permit for                                                               
the Juneau Access Road Project expired on January 31, 2015.                                                                     
1:27:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked for further  clarification on the number of                                                               
public comments received during the public comment period.                                                                      
MR. HOGINS answered  the department received in  excess of 42,000                                                               
1:27:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked whether the  comments were from Alaskans or                                                               
from the Lower 48.                                                                                                              
MR.  HOGINS  answered that  35,000  comments  were received  from                                                               
Earth Justice in Washington state.                                                                                              
1:28:03 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN directed attention  to the draft Supplemental                                                               
EIS on  the court  mandated alternative  to improve  marine ferry                                                               
service   in  Lynn   Canal,   including  reassessing   reasonable                                                               
alternatives, such  as changes to regulations,  updated analysis,                                                               
and   alternative   revisions      necessary   to   address   new                                                               
environmental and  engineering information since the  2006 record                                                               
of decision (ROD)[slide 16].                                                                                                    
1:28:41 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN directed  attention to  the current  project                                                               
status,  stating that  sufficient funds  have been  encumbered to                                                               
complete  the  EIS  to  the  record  of  decision  (ROD)  for  an                                                               
estimated cost  of $800,000  [slide 17].   As members  are aware,                                                               
Governor  Walker  issued  Administrative Order  (AO  271),  which                                                               
halted  all  work  on  the   Juneau  Access  Road  Project.    As                                                               
previously mentioned,  completing the  Draft Supplemental  EIS is                                                               
really the next  logical conclusion for this  project, which will                                                               
be his recommendation to the governor.                                                                                          
1:29:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asked whether  the federal  funding exists                                                               
for the Juneau Access Road Project (JA).                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered yes.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asked if  the federal funding  is specific                                                               
to the  Juneau Access Road  Project of if  it is for  the highway                                                               
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN answered  that  the question  gets into  the                                                               
Statewide  Transportation Improvements  Program (STIP).   As  the                                                               
STIP  is developed,  the department  includes projects  that will                                                               
receive federal  funding and  the Juneau  Access Road  Project is                                                               
included in the 2012 - 2015 STIP.                                                                                               
1:30:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES   asked  whether  these  funds   could  be                                                               
allocated to the MV Tustumena.                                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered  that he was unsure,  but he offered                                                               
to provide a response to the committee.                                                                                         
1:30:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES passed the gavel to Co-Chair Foster.                                                                            
1:30:59 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN said  that if  the department  moves forward                                                               
with the  project it is  possible to reach a  final Environmental                                                               
Impact  Statement (EIS)  and Record  of Decision  (ROD) by  early                                                               
2016  or at  least  a recommended  preferred  alternative to  the                                                               
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) [slide 18].                                                                               
1:31:24 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN indicated that once  the ROD is received, the                                                               
department  will request  injunction  relief  if the  alternative                                                               
requires it,  and will  move forward  with the  US Army  Corps of                                                               
Engineers (USACE) permit, the US  Forest Service easement, and if                                                               
the decision  is to  move forward  with a  preferred alternative,                                                               
construction could begin as early as 2016.                                                                                      
1:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN directed  attention to  additional approvals                                                               
needed  for  the Juneau  Access  Road  Project once  the  project                                                               
reaches  a record  of decision  (ROD), including  obtaining a  US                                                               
Army Corps  of Engineers 404/Section  10 permit,  consulting with                                                               
the National  Marine Fisheries Service  (NMFS) on  the Endangered                                                               
Species  Act, obtaining  the  National  Marine Fisheries  Service                                                               
Marine    Mammals    Protection   Act    Incidental    Harassment                                                               
authorization,  obtaining   a  US  Forest   Service  right-of-way                                                               
easement, and Bald Eagle disturbance permits [slide 19].                                                                        
1:32:23 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN  reviewed  the  current  federal  and  state                                                               
funding,  reporting  that the  total  funding  available for  the                                                               
project  is  $202 million,  of  which,  $154 million  is  federal                                                               
funding for  construction previously approved by  the legislature                                                               
and $48  million is in  general funds previously  appropriated by                                                               
the legislature.                                                                                                                
1:32:53 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN informed members  that the Juneau Access Road                                                               
Project   can    be   found    at   the    department's   website                                                               
www.juneauaccess.alaska.gov [slide 21].                                                                                         
1:33:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asked if  the total funding  available for                                                               
the  project is  $202 million.    She recalled  reading that  the                                                               
Juneau Access Road Project total cost was $574 million.                                                                         
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN  agreed that  the initial  construction costs                                                               
for Alternative 2B  is $574 million, but it would  be phased over                                                               
several years.                                                                                                                  
1:33:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked  whether  the  Juneau  Access  Road                                                               
Project will require $372 million more in funding.                                                                              
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered yes.                                                                                               
1:34:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN, referring  to  slide 13,  said the  total                                                               
project cost for the No  Action Alternative would require a total                                                               
project  cost  of $669  million  and  Alternative 1B  would  cost                                                               
$1.030  billion.   The  current  preferred  Alternative 2B  would                                                               
require  $1.093  billion.   He  recalled  the  executive  summary                                                               
described various  alternatives, and  enhanced ferry  service for                                                               
[Alternative 1B]  includes an assumption of  20 percent reduction                                                               
in  fares for  trips  in  Lynn Canal  in  the  extended hours  of                                                               
operations.   Basically, he assumed  that since  this alternative                                                               
enhances ferry  service in addition  to bringing on the  ACF, the                                                               
effort will  be taken to  reduce the  fares on the  ferries below                                                               
the actual cost.   He asked how these figures  would change under                                                               
Alternative  1B  if the  state  eliminates  the 20  percent  fare                                                               
MR.  HOGINS said  he  does  not have  the  figures  today but  he                                                               
offered to provide them.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  said  he's interested  in  these  figures                                                               
since  the  legislature  often asks  whether  the  Alaska  Marine                                                               
Highway  System  (AMHS)  is  paying   for  itself;  however,  the                                                               
legislature doesn't  ask the  same question  about highways.   He                                                               
questioned whether the gas taxes  pay for highways.  He expressed                                                               
interest  in the  assumptions  for Alternative  1B  since he  was                                                               
unsure  whether  the state  can  afford  to  reduce fares  by  20                                                               
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN  offered  to   provide  the  analysis.    He                                                               
envisioned this  is the  type of  information the  department can                                                               
consider over the next few months.                                                                                              
1:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  recalled   the  projected  average  daily                                                               
travel for  the road at  1,240 vehicles  in the winter  and 2,000                                                               
per day in the summer.   He was curious how those figures compare                                                               
to the number  of travelers driving between  Anchorage and Palmer                                                               
or  Anchorage and  the Matanuska-Susitna  Valley.   He asked  for                                                               
further  clarification on  the Juneau  Access  Road Project  (JA)                                                               
figures and how it relates to other parts of the state.                                                                         
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered that he  is referring to the average                                                               
daily traffic  count (ADT).   He offered  to provide the  ADT for                                                               
the Glenn Highway and other highways.                                                                                           
1:38:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked  whether he had a general  idea if it                                                               
was comparable or if it will be a much lower number.                                                                            
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN answered  that  it would  be a  considerably                                                               
different number.                                                                                                               
1:38:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES returned the gavel to Co-Chair Hughes.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked  how much the state will need  to repay the                                                               
Federal  Highways Administration  (FHWA)  if the  state does  not                                                               
move   forward  with   the   Supplemental  Environmental   Impact                                                               
Statement (EIS).                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered that the  local director of the FHWA                                                               
[Federal  Highway Administration]  informed  the department  that                                                               
the state could be facing a $27 million bill.                                                                                   
1:39:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  whether the  state can  move the  federal                                                               
funding elsewhere and  if so, the amount of  state funds required                                                               
to do so.                                                                                                                       
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered the  potential exists that the state                                                               
will  not  spend money  set  aside  for  the Juneau  Access  Road                                                               
Project (JA) this year since  it will take the department another                                                               
year to  complete the  draft [Supplemental]  Environmental Impact                                                               
Statement (EIS).   The department  has identified  other projects                                                               
where it can use the aforementioned funds for in 2016.                                                                          
1:40:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  for  a  mile-for-mile comparison  between                                                               
constructing a road and operating a ferry.                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN offered to provide the analysis.                                                                            
1:40:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  whether one  is less  expensive than  the                                                               
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered that  the maintenance and operations                                                               
(M&O) for  the Alaska Marine  Highway System (AMHS) is  less than                                                               
the revenue  earned by the AMHS;  he estimated the cost  at about                                                               
$114 million for the AMHS  and about $115 million for maintenance                                                               
and operations (M&O) for the road system.                                                                                       
1:41:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked for further clarification on the figures.                                                                 
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered that  the maintenance and operations                                                               
(M&O) for  the Alaska Marine  Highway System and  the maintenance                                                               
and  operations (M&O)  to  maintain the  state's  road system  is                                                               
essentially  the same  cost; however,  this doesn't  compare lane                                                               
miles,  but the  total  cost of  the  maintenance and  operations                                                               
(M&O) budget.                                                                                                                   
1:41:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  understood Commissioner Luiken is  talking about                                                               
the entire  road system in  Alaska, but  he is not  comparing the                                                               
specific road  distance to  a ferry route  of the  same distance.                                                               
She  expressed  an  interest  in drilling  down  to  obtain  that                                                               
information.    As  someone who  previously  lived  in  Southeast                                                               
Alaska, she  realizes the importance  of the ferry system  to the                                                               
communities.    In  fact,  she  still  has  family  who  live  in                                                               
Southeast Alaska; however, she also  recognizes that the state is                                                               
facing escalating costs.  In  the 1990s, the state subsidized the                                                               
AMHS by  $50 million,  but currently  the state  is looking  at a                                                               
subsidy of $120  million.  Thus the state must  think "out of the                                                               
box" to find solutions.  Referring  to the purpose and need slide                                                               
[slide  2], it  is clear  the preferred  alternative [Alternative                                                               
2B] addressed some  of the cost, which the  committee should keep                                                               
in  mind.   The  legislature represents  Alaskan individuals  and                                                               
families, and for a family of  four to take a vehicle from Juneau                                                               
to Haines  costs $400, which  could be  greatly reduced to  a few                                                               
gallons of  gasoline if the  Juneau Access Road Project  (JA) was                                                               
completed.    She  asked  for  the  overall  life  expectancy  of                                                               
ferries, recalling that  ferries have a limited life  and must be                                                               
replaced about every 50 years.                                                                                                  
1:44:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES   related  her   understanding  that   the  fuel                                                               
emissions are  greater for ferries  than from  vehicles traveling                                                               
on the road system.                                                                                                             
MR.  HOGINS  offered  to provide  information  on  emissions  for                                                               
vehicles and  ferries.  In  further response to  Co-Chair Hughes,                                                               
he answered  that he  was unsure and  to avoid  misspeaking would                                                               
prefer to furnish the emissions information to the committee.                                                                   
1:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  commented  that Alternative  2B  has  the                                                               
largest  impact on  the natural  resources, including  impacts to                                                               
old  growth forest  and wetlands  habitat.   She pointed  out the                                                               
impacts  are   far  greater  with   Alternative  2B   than  other                                                               
alternatives.  She said she was  curious why that option would be                                                               
selected  as  compared to  others  given  the huge  environmental                                                               
MR. HOGINS  stated that the department  minimized the environment                                                               
impacts  on  the  wetlands  and old  growth  using  the  National                                                               
Environmental Policy Act  of 1969 (NEPA) process in  2006 and the                                                               
US Army Corps  of Engineers permitting process in  2006 and 2007.                                                               
He said  she is  correct that the  preferred alternative  has the                                                               
highest environmental impact of all  of the alternatives, but the                                                               
department has "taken  its best shot" to minimize  the effects to                                                               
the greatest extent it can under Alternative 2B.                                                                                
1:46:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ asked  whether  the  department factors  in                                                               
revenue when  considering comparable  costs between the  AMHS and                                                               
the highway system.                                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered yes; that  it does factor in revenue                                                               
earned by the ferry system.                                                                                                     
1:47:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asked whether the department  will provide                                                               
figures that will cover the total road system in Alaska.                                                                        
COMMISSIONER LUIKEN answered yes.                                                                                               
1:47:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES asked  for  further  clarification on  the                                                               
total number of road miles in  the state versus total ferry miles                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN  offered to  provide  the  information.   He                                                               
identified one factor  that must also be considered  is the total                                                               
population served by each of the two systems.                                                                                   
1:47:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  for the  total cost  of maintenance                                                               
and  operations  (M&O) for  the  highway  and the  Alaska  Marine                                                               
Highway System (AMHS).   He expressed an interest  in the overall                                                               
cost for maintenance  and operations (M&O) and  the total revenue                                                               
derived  from   each  component   of  the   three  legs   of  the                                                               
transportation system:   roads, ferries, and aviation.   He would                                                               
like  the total  revenue derived  to  include the  gas taxes  and                                                               
fares for  the AMHS.  He  further asked whether the  revenue from                                                               
the gas  tax is  used to  provide support  for AMHS  or if  it is                                                               
limited to just roads.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN  answered  that  Alaska's fuel  tax  is  not                                                               
dedicated and is deposited to the general fund.                                                                                 
1:49:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  whether he  can provide  the income                                                               
generated by fuel taxes.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER  LUIKEN  answered  yes;  that  he  can  provide  the                                                               
revenue collected for fuel taxes.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR FOSTER stated  that Ms. Pitney was  asked to participate                                                               
since AO 271  requested project analysis be provided  by the OMB.                                                               
He asked for a description of  the analysis that was conducted to                                                               
determine the shelving of these important projects.                                                                             
1:50:36 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT  PITNEY,  Director,  Office of  Management  &  Budget  (OMB),                                                               
Office of the  Governor, referred to the six  projects defined as                                                               
megaprojects in the  administrative order.  In  addition to these                                                               
six projects, the governor also  asked all agencies to review the                                                               
capital appropriations  in a  less formal way.   She  stated that                                                               
the analysis  to review the  Juneau Access Road project  would be                                                               
very similar to how the  agency reviews other projects, including                                                               
considering  how far  the state  is  into the  project, how  much                                                               
additional  funding will  be required  to  complete the  project,                                                               
identifying  the opportunity  costs  vis-a-vis  state or  federal                                                               
funds, and  determining whether there  is a logical  pause point.                                                               
Further, the goal would be to  preserve as much value as possible                                                               
for expenditures on the project  to allow for future decisions on                                                               
the project.  As Commissioner  Luiken mentioned the logical pause                                                               
point  for  the Juneau  Access  Road  Project  (JA) would  be  to                                                               
achieve the  record of  decision (ROD).   Reaching the  ROD would                                                               
preserve all  of the  work to  date and  allow the  state several                                                               
years to  decide whether to fund  the road, if the  state were to                                                               
decide to do so.  Therefore  the administration's goal will be to                                                               
get to the record of decision (ROD).                                                                                            
1:53:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES suggested  that the  definition of  megaprojects                                                               
used to be for projects estimated  to cost $1 billion.  She asked                                                               
whether  the   Juneau  Access  Road  Project   (JA)  is  properly                                                               
designated by being listed in the category of megaprojects.                                                                     
MS. PITNEY answered yes; that  the Federal Highway Administration                                                               
(FHWA)  considers projects  over $500  million as  large projects                                                               
that require additional  scrutiny.  In a sense  the definition of                                                               
megaproject  is informed  by  the transition  team's  work.   She                                                               
suggested  that  the  [administration and  the  legislature]  can                                                               
argue how  "big is big," but  all projects should be  reviewed at                                                               
this time.                                                                                                                      
1:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES agreed  these  large projects  should get  extra                                                               
scrutiny;  however, she  disagreed  that the  Juneau Access  Road                                                               
Project  (JA)   falls  in  the  megaproject   category  and  that                                                               
categorizing it  in this way  could mislead the  public; however,                                                               
she agreed  all large projects  should be  carefully scrutinized.                                                               
In  fact, going  through that  process  is very  healthy for  the                                                               
state, she  said, noting she appreciates  that the administration                                                               
has taken action so the legislature can review the projects.                                                                    
1:55:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  for the  total general  fund expenditures                                                               
that  have  been  spent  on  the JA  project  thus  far  and  any                                                               
additional funds required to complete the project.                                                                              
MS. PITNEY answered  that the state needs  an additional $800,000                                                               
to  get to  the  record of  decision  (ROD).   She  said the  OMB                                                               
recommends using  the remaining $800,000  to do so.   She offered                                                               
to provide information on the amount of the appropriation.                                                                      
1:57:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  related her understanding that  an additional $9                                                               
million in  general funds is  needed to complete the  project and                                                               
approximately  $50 million  in general  fund monies  have already                                                               
been appropriated.   She asked whether the  additional $9 million                                                               
would trigger about $91 million in federal dollars.                                                                             
MS.  PITNEY  answered that  she  believes  the additional  amount                                                               
needed  to complete  the  project  is closer  to  $20 million  in                                                               
general  fund monies,  plus the  federal funding.   She  reminded                                                               
members  that  using  the aforementioned  federal  funds  on  the                                                               
Juneau Access  Road Project (JA)  will mean those funds  will not                                                               
be available to  use on a different project.   She cautioned that                                                               
the federal  funds are  not "free"  but represent  an opportunity                                                               
cost for future priorities.                                                                                                     
1:58:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  for further  clarification as  to whether                                                               
reallocating federal  funds [designated for the  JA) will require                                                               
an additional 9  to 10 percent of state funds  in matching funds,                                                               
which will need to be added to the budget.                                                                                      
MS. PITNEY answered that is correct.                                                                                            
1:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES   acknowledged  that   she  is   a  little                                                               
confused.   She asked  for confirmation on  whether it  will take                                                               
$20 million  in general  funds to finish  the Juneau  Access Road                                                               
Project (JA)  since today's DOT&PF's presentation  indicates that                                                               
the funding available for the JA  project to date is $202 million                                                               
[per slide 20].   However, she further understood  the total cost                                                               
of the  project is $574  million for initial  construction costs,                                                               
for  Alternative 2B  [slide  13]  so the  state  is $300  million                                                               
MS.  PITNEY agreed  to  report  back to  the  committee on  these                                                               
figures since the math doesn't work for her either.                                                                             
1:59:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES surmised  some of  the $300  million is  federal                                                               
funds, but she would like to know  the exact amount.  It had been                                                               
her  understanding that  approximately $9-10  million in  general                                                               
funds  would be  needed to  complete  the project.   She  further                                                               
understood that the  additional general funds would  trigger 9 to                                                               
10  percent   in  federal  dollars.     She  asked   for  further                                                               
clarification on  whether $800,000 will  be needed to  finish the                                                               
[record of decision (ROD)].                                                                                                     
MS. PITNEY answered yes.                                                                                                        
2:00:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  also understood  that funding,  possibly already                                                               
appropriated, for constructing two segments of the road.                                                                        
MS. PITNEY deferred to the DOT&PF.                                                                                              
2:00:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES related  her understanding  that money  has been                                                               
appropriated  that   will  allow  the  DOT&PF   to  proceed  with                                                               
construction on  two segments of  the Juneau Access  Road Project                                                               
MR. HOGINS answered that if  the administration goes forward with                                                               
the  preferred   Alternative  2B,  the  intention   would  be  to                                                               
construct it  in segments.   Currently,  the department  has $160                                                               
million,  plus or  minus, in  legislative  authority for  federal                                                               
funds that  could be applied to  the first several segments.   He                                                               
stated that  the short  answered is yes;  the department  has the                                                               
funds available to do the first segments of the projects.                                                                       
2:01:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked  whether  the funds  are  the  ones                                                               
listed  [on slide  13] of  the presentation.   She  further asked                                                               
whether that means the department is still missing $300 million.                                                                
MR. HOGINS answered that is correct.                                                                                            
2:02:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FOSTER returned the gavel to Co-Chair Hughes.                                                                          
2:02:49 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGG  ERIKSON, Consultant/Owner,  Erikson  & Associates,  stated                                                               
that  he  also  maintains  an  office  in  Juneau,  has  been  an                                                               
economist in  Alaska for more than  40 years, has worked  on road                                                               
issues, and  recently served on  Governor Walker's  fiscal policy                                                               
transition  committee.    The  transition  committee  unanimously                                                               
recommended   that  the   [major   transportation]  projects   be                                                               
suspended and  carefully reviewed.   Early last year  the Skagway                                                               
Marine Access  Commission hired him to  try to make sense  of the                                                               
fiscal data generated  by consultants for the  Juneau Access Road                                                               
Project;  however, this  task was  easier than  anticipated since                                                               
the  Department of  Transportation &  Public Facilities  (DOT&PF)                                                               
financed  an  excellent  analysis  of the  economics  and  fiscal                                                               
impacts  of  this  project.    He urged  members  to  review  the                                                               
DOT&PF's analysis.                                                                                                              
2:05:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ERICKSON  noticed some questions  that were raised  today are                                                               
immediately answered  in the  Juneau Access  Improvements Project                                                               
Draft  Supplemental  Environmental  Impact  Statement  (EIS),  in                                                               
particular the economic and fiscal  analysis included in Appendix                                                               
FF of  the document.   The Draft  Supplemental EIS,  dated August                                                               
2014,  was  prepared by  Jim  Calvin  and Juneau  economist  Milt                                                               
Barker  for the  McDowell  Group.   With  respect  to an  earlier                                                               
question  on   the  annual  maintenance  and   operations  (M&O),                                                               
comparing  the Alaska  Marine Highway  System and  Alternative 2B                                                               
for the road  and ferry, somehow some people are  saying that the                                                               
annual operating  costs for the  road will  be less, but  that is                                                               
just not  so.  In looking  at the executive summary  in the Draft                                                               
Supplemental  EIS (SEIS),  Table  1, the  annual maintenance  and                                                               
operations (M&O) for the ferries  for the "No Action" alternative                                                               
is  estimated   at  $15.4   million  and   the  annual   M&O  for                                                               
[Alternative 2B]  for the road is  $20.4 million.  He  was unsure                                                               
how those figures "gained currency" but  it is just not the case,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
MR.  ERICKSON reported  the  project's total  life  cost for  the                                                               
ferries is $669  million, but the cost to build  the road is over                                                               
$1 billion.  In  terms of the purpose and need,  the focus was on                                                               
surface  transportation,  which  he  found odd  since  the  Draft                                                               
Supplement  Environmental   Impact  Statement   (SEIS)  statement                                                               
released in September 2014 [page  1-7] reads as follows, "Because                                                               
of  the relatively  short travel  times  and schedule  frequency,                                                               
business  travelers  generally prefer  air  travel  to the  ferry                                                               
system.    Air  service  in  the Lynn  Canal  corridor  plays  an                                                               
important  role in  transporting  passengers,  freight, and  mail                                                               
however,  travel is  often  constrained by  fog,  high winds,  or                                                               
snowstorms and  can be delayed  up to  several days in  the fall,                                                               
winter,  and  spring."    However,  the  DOT&PF  has  offered  no                                                               
explanation   of  why   it  restricted   its  study   to  service                                                               
alternatives.   He  said, "I  consider that  a serious  flaw, but                                                               
looking at the five part statement  of purpose and need, I notice                                                               
that there  is noticeably absent  in that list  any comprehensive                                                               
measure  of overall  net  economic benefit  such  as net  present                                                               
value,  benefit   cost  ratio,   economic  efficiency,   or  cost                                                               
2:08:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ERICKSON  remarked that  in all the  EIS's he  has previously                                                               
reviewed,  he has  never seen  an EIS  in which  the purpose  and                                                               
needs   statement  does   not   include   something  related   to                                                               
comprehensive economic benefits  or how the costs  of the project                                                               
compare to  the benefits.   In  fact, that  is the  procedure the                                                               
American   Association    of   State   Highway    Engineers   and                                                               
Transportation  (ASHETO)  officials  recommend, he  said.    That                                                               
organization published a great big  book describing how to do it,                                                               
which it  says is  the proper  procedure to  use to  decide which                                                               
projects to  build with limited  funds.  However,  the department                                                               
offered   no   explanation   for  omitting   comprehensive   cost                                                               
effectiveness criteria from the purpose  and need statement.  The                                                               
McDowell  Group  and  Milt  Barker did  the  calculation  in  its                                                               
appendix,  noting  the ratio  of  benefits  to  the cost  of  the                                                               
project  and concluded  that  for every  dollar  invested in  the                                                               
Juneau Access Road  Project (JA), the DOT&PF  indicates the state                                                               
will receive $.28 in benefits or a .28 benefit cost ratio.                                                                      
2:10:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ERICKSON reported  that the  American  Association of  State                                                               
Highway   Engineers   and   Transportation   Officials   (ASHETO)                                                               
indicates  that states  should  not build  anything  with a  cost                                                               
benefit ratio  less than 1.0.   However,  this project is  so far                                                               
below 1.0 that he found it  almost amazing that [the JA] is still                                                               
on the  table.  He surmised  this likely speaks to  the parochial                                                               
nature of  decision making and  to political factors  that affect                                                               
the process.   He  suggested that  in times  when the  economy is                                                               
good, screenings  that normally  occur for public  works projects                                                               
of this  magnitude are not considered.   As an economist,  he has                                                               
observed Alaska's economy go up and  down over the years and this                                                               
is not the first  time the state has been in  fiscal stress.  For                                                               
example, the  state had a  serious recession  in the 80s,  but it                                                               
recovered.   During the downturns  the state has always  used its                                                               
capital  budget as  the "balance  wheel"  since Alaska  typically                                                               
spends  12 times  more per  capita than  other states  on capital                                                               
2:12:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  asked  whether  the  $20  million  annual                                                               
operating cost for Alternative 2B is for 2020.                                                                                  
MR.  ERICKSON answered  that $20  million  figure represents  the                                                               
average  annual maintenance  and  operation cost  (M&O) over  the                                                               
entire life of the project.                                                                                                     
2:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether Mr.  Erickson has a  copy of                                                               
the DOT&PF's PowerPoint presentation [in members' packets].                                                                     
MR. ERICKSON answered yes.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN suggested  this  might be  a question  for                                                               
DOT&PF, but the  line item on slide 13  estimates net maintenance                                                               
and operations  (M&O) of $10  million for Alternative 2B  and $15                                                               
million  for  Alternative  1B.   He  wondered  why  Mr.  Erickson                                                               
reported  the maintenance  and operations  (M&O)  at $20  million                                                               
when the  PowerPoint estimates  maintenance and  operations (M&O)                                                               
at $10 million.                                                                                                                 
MR. ERICKSON  directed attention to  page ES  16, line 3,  of the                                                               
draft  Supplemental  EIS,  which  lists  annual  maintenance  and                                                               
operations (M&O) at $20.4 million  for Alternative 2B.  He agreed                                                               
it is a good question for the department.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN expressed  an interest  in an  explanation                                                               
for the discrepancy in the annual costs.                                                                                        
2:15:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES  wondered if  Mr. Erickson  agrees that  the more                                                               
people who  travel between two  towns will increase  the economic                                                               
benefit for both of the towns.                                                                                                  
MR. ERICKSON answered  yes.  He indicated that he  wrote a column                                                               
eight years  ago in the Juneau  Empire in which he  said there is                                                               
no  question  that  the  proposed  road  would  benefit  Juneau's                                                               
economy.  At the  time the project was strictly a  road and not a                                                               
road and  short ferry option,  he said.   He remarked  that every                                                               
project will  benefit people, including the  construction workers                                                               
who will  work on the  project so  it isn't surprising  they will                                                               
support the project.  However,  he suggested the real question is                                                               
how the  state will allocate  a limited amount of  spending since                                                               
the state cannot  spend everything it wants to.   He offered that                                                               
the way to make that judgment  is to examine the overall benefits                                                               
compared to  the overall  costs, at least  that is  one important                                                               
element that  should be considered.   He said, "My beef  with the                                                               
Department  of Transportation  is  they didn't  consider that  at                                                               
all.  I think that's just unconscionable."                                                                                      
2:16:54 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM  BRICE,  Lobbyist,  Alaska   District  Council  of  Laborers,                                                               
Laborers  Local 942,  stated  he works  for  the Alaska  District                                                               
Council of  Laborers representing the Public  Employees Local 71,                                                               
Laborers Local  341, and Laborer Local  942.  He said  that he is                                                               
speaking on  own behalf but and  for the Laborers Local  942, who                                                               
have supported this project for  approximately 20 years, not just                                                               
for  jobs,  but  for  the  economy in  the  northern  Lynn  Canal                                                               
communities.      The   JA  project   represents   an   important                                                               
transportation infrastructure  to bring  people of  Alaska closer                                                               
to their  capital, strengthen the  ties within the  northern Lynn                                                               
Canal  communities,  and  help stabilize  the  transportation  of                                                               
goods and services within the  region.  Currently, it takes close                                                               
to seven  hours to travel  between Juneau and Haines  or Skagway,                                                               
weather  permitting on  the mainline  ferry.   In fact,  he noted                                                               
ferry service was cancelled last  week in northern Lynn Canal due                                                               
to strong  winds, but planes  were also  not flying.   He briefly                                                               
reviewed the travel  time to travel between Juneau  and Haines on                                                               
a  mainline  ferry, including  the  necessity  for passengers  to                                                               
arrive two hours prior to  sailing, the 4.5 hours mainline travel                                                               
time, as well as the typical $400 round trip cost.                                                                              
MR. BRICE offered that the  time and costs associated with travel                                                               
can  create major  barriers between  communities such  as Juneau,                                                               
Haines, and Skagway.  He  acknowledged that some Juneauites would                                                               
like to  be able to  run their snowmachines  in the pass  or hike                                                               
the Chilkoot Trail, but the costs  to travel to Haines or Skagway                                                               
via the ferry  are too high.   He also often works  in Haines and                                                               
his ability  to use the  ferry is very  limited due to  the ferry                                                               
schedules, he said.                                                                                                             
2:22:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BRICE, after  highlighting major  projects the  construction                                                               
company has  built, asked  to read  an excerpt  from a  letter he                                                               
received from Miller Construction,  related to a travel incident.                                                               
He read as follows:                                                                                                             
     Miller  Construction   Company  sold   a  Wasilla-based                                                                    
     excavator  to a  Juneau business  during the  summer of                                                                    
     2014.  The  excavator was trucked to  Haines and Miller                                                                    
     Construction   in  one   day's   time.     We   [Miller                                                                    
     Construction   Company]  had   planned   to  ship   the                                                                    
     excavator  from  Haines  to  Juneau  via  AMHS  [Alaska                                                                    
     Marine Highway System] because  the truck, trailer, and                                                                    
     the  excavator was  under 70,000  pounds, but  when the                                                                    
     truck  arrived at  the ferry  terminal, the  driver was                                                                    
     told  that the  ferry  was overbooked.    In fact,  the                                                                    
     ferry was  full for the  next week.  The  excavator had                                                                    
     to  be placed  on the  barge  heading to  Juneau.   The                                                                    
     barge was  not scheduled  to leave  until a  week after                                                                    
     the  excavator had  arrived in  Haines.   Therefore the                                                                    
     excavator was  out of service  for a whole  week during                                                                    
     the  middle of  the construction  season.   This was  a                                                                    
     costly delay and not the  anomaly as cargo availability                                                                    
     on the AMHS is very  limited. An excavator of this size                                                                    
     costs $500 per  day, whether it's in use or  not.  It's                                                                    
     really an economic loss to the contractor.                                                                                 
MR.  BRICE said  he appreciated  the position  the administration                                                               
finds  itself in,  but he  agreed with  Co-Chair Hughes  that the                                                               
review process  is an  important process.   The department  has a                                                               
number  of  options  with  respect  to  the  Juneau  Access  Road                                                               
Project,  including that  the funds  allocated  and dedicated  to                                                               
this process  could be  spent over  a longer  period of  time, or                                                               
smaller parts of the project could be built.                                                                                    
MR. BRICE suggested  that the state consider the  permanency of a                                                               
road, as well as that the  appropriated funding can be spread out                                                               
over time.  He  urged members not to close doors  or write off an                                                               
investment that the state has made during the past 20 years.                                                                    
2:26:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES asked  if he was aware of  any other construction                                                               
projects in  the queue  as ready  as this  project that  could be                                                               
moved forward with the federal funding.                                                                                         
MR. BRICE deferred to DOT&PF, but  in his view, probably not.  He                                                               
acknowledged  that  it can  take  years  to  bring a  project  to                                                               
fruition,  but   noted  this  project   is  moving  along.     He                                                               
characterized  the  Juneau  Access  Road Project  (JA)  as  vital                                                               
infrastructure for the state.                                                                                                   
2:27:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES   asked  whether  there  are   any  geologic  or                                                               
geographic issue.                                                                                                               
MR. BRICE  deferred to Corey  Baxter [District  8 Representative,                                                               
International Union  of Operating Engineers Local  302]; however,                                                               
from  the  laborers  perspective,  the workers  who  perform  the                                                               
drilling, blasting,  and ditch digging;  he answered no.   He did                                                               
not  think that  many obstacles  could  not be  overcome by  good                                                               
contractors using innovative practices.   For example, he pointed                                                               
to  previous  work  done  on  the  Egan  Expressway  and  to  the                                                               
multitude of road systems through  the fiords in the Scandinavian                                                               
countries, including  tunnels.   Although he  was not  opposed to                                                               
the idea  of drilling tunnels,  he acknowledged that  concept was                                                               
not currently on  the table; however the highway is  on the table                                                               
and he is supportive of the highway.                                                                                            
2:29:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  for the  impact on  the industry  if this                                                               
project is halted until 2018  and whether he predicts that people                                                               
will leave the state.                                                                                                           
MR. BRICE acknowledged  that is an important point.   He said the                                                               
construction industry  is vibrant  in Alaska, but  skills workers                                                               
learn  in  construction  are  easily   transferable  to  the  oil                                                               
industry.   The construction industry  also provides  its workers                                                               
with   health   care,   pension  benefits,   career   advancement                                                               
opportunities, college  education, and  legal services.   He said                                                               
he comes  from a family with  a long history in  construction, in                                                               
Alaska,  emphasizing the  opportunities for  a wonderful  life in                                                               
construction, but  it all hinges  on work opportunities  that can                                                               
disappear without projects.                                                                                                     
2:31:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES asked  whether  the construction  jobs are  also                                                               
transferable to the gasline.                                                                                                    
MR. BRICE  answered absolutely.   He stated  that many  Local 914                                                               
members  work  construction  in  the  summers  and  work  out  of                                                               
Fairbanks  on the  pipeline  and North  Slope  activities in  the                                                               
2:32:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HUGHES opened  public  testimony on  the Juneau  Access                                                               
Road Project (JA).                                                                                                              
2:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE SCHAEFER,  Mayor, Municipality of Skagway  Borough, asked to                                                               
first welcome back Commissioner Luiken  and said he looks forward                                                               
to working  with him.  The  committee is wise to  provide careful                                                               
scrutiny  of  any  megaprojects  given  the  state's  challenging                                                               
fiscal  environment,   he  said,  and  maintenance   of  existing                                                               
infrastructure should be  a priority.  The  larger projects carry                                                               
the risk  of diverting precious transportation  dollars away from                                                               
smaller  projects of  critical importance  to  communities.   For                                                               
example, he highlighted  the sinking of the dock  in Skagway this                                                               
past  spring.     He  relayed   that  in  2013   the  legislature                                                               
appropriated $4.5  million for replacement of  the floating dock,                                                               
which was not  done, and the sinking of the  dock in 2014 created                                                               
hardships for the  state and the community of Skagway.   The last                                                               
plan was to  refurbish the sunken float to extend  the float life                                                               
by five  to eight years, which  has not yet been  completed.  The                                                               
status of the $4.5 million  appropriation has not been made clear                                                               
to  the municipality  as  yet.   Similarly,  in  2010 funds  were                                                               
appropriated  for replacement  of  the  Klondike Highway  Captain                                                               
Moore Bridge, but the project was  delayed, and in 2013 the funds                                                               
were  reappropriated  to the  Juneau  Access  Road Project  (JA).                                                               
Thankfully, the aforementioned funding  has been restored and the                                                               
design  stage has  begun for  this essential  Roads to  Resources                                                               
project.    Maintaining  existing roads  and  replacing  mainline                                                               
ferries   should  be   the  department's   top  priority.     The                                                               
Municipality   of    Skagway   remains   concerned    that   many                                                               
transportation projects of local  and regional importance will be                                                               
postponed  or   canceled  if  the  state   allocates  its  sparse                                                               
transportation dollars to the Juneau Access Road Project.                                                                       
MAYOR SCHAEFER said he has asked  his staff to make available the                                                               
Municipality  of Skagway's  comments on  the Juneau  Access draft                                                               
supplemental  Environmental Impact  Statement  (EIS).   He  hoped                                                               
that members  will review them  and the many safety  and economic                                                               
concerns the community has raised.                                                                                              
2:36:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JAN WRENTMORE,  Member, Skagway Marine Access  Commission, stated                                                               
that she is a local business  owner, but is speaking on behalf of                                                               
the commission  today.  She said  that there are a  few omissions                                                               
in the draft  EIS.  She said  that very little is  written in the                                                               
Juneau  Access  Road EIS  about  the  vital transportation  links                                                               
between Haines  and Skagway or  between Juneau and  points south.                                                               
She said  the Juneau Access  [Road Project] is Juneau  centric in                                                               
its conception  and execution.  It  is "all about Juneau  all the                                                               
time,"  she  said, with  an  emphasis  on improving  access  from                                                               
Juneau to Haines and Juneau to  Skagway.  The Juneau Access [Road                                                               
Project] treats the rest of the  region and the rest of the state                                                               
as an afterthought.  It gives  no consideration on the effects on                                                               
the remainder  of the Alaska  Marine Highway System (AMHS).   The                                                               
Lynn Canal  route segment  enjoys one of  the largest  volumes of                                                               
traffic within the AMHS system,  and therefore Lynn Canal makes a                                                               
disproportionately  large financial  contribution to  the overall                                                               
AMHS system,  she said.   However, the  EIS does not  address how                                                               
the  loss of  Lynn Canal  revenues will  impact the  rest of  the                                                               
system,  in  particular,  with  regard  to  increased  levels  of                                                               
government  subsidies.    She   said  that  using  "unconstrained                                                               
demand" the EIS attempts to justify  high price tag of the Juneau                                                               
Access  [Road Project]  by predicting  greatly inflated  numbers,                                                               
which amounts  to an "if  we build  it they will  come" strategy,                                                               
which is  a risky game  plan for gambling  with more than  half a                                                               
billion dollars  of the  state's dwindling  transportation monies                                                               
for  a project  that can  demonstrate no  economic benefit.   The                                                               
Skagway  Marine Access  Commission supports  the construction  of                                                               
the new  streamlined Alaska Class  Ferry (ACF) day boats.   These                                                               
boats will  require less  than 20 percent  of the  crew currently                                                               
required for the  MV Malaspina that serves the  Lynn Canal route,                                                               
she said.                                                                                                                       
2:39:22 PM                                                                                                                    
RICH  MONIAK,  Civil  Engineer  (CE),  paraphrased  from  written                                                               
comments, as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                           
     I  just  retired from  a  35  year  career as  a  civil                                                                    
     engineer. I  worked for a state  highway department for                                                                    
     5 years  and for the  federal government in  Juneau for                                                                    
     24  years. I  know  how  public agencies  underestimate                                                                    
     costs  and  overstate  need to  justify  projects.  DOT                                                                    
     constantly tells us that roads  are less expensive than                                                                    
     ferries. For  this project that's  not true.  Their own                                                                    
     supplemental EIS projects the  road will cost the state                                                                    
     $5 million  a year more  than operating the  new Alaska                                                                    
     Class ferries  in Lynn  Canal. And  that gets  worse if                                                                    
     costs are  higher than projected.  I believe  the three                                                                    
     big bridges,  snow sheds, and  tunnels are  all complex                                                                    
     structures have a  high risk for changes  in either the                                                                    
     final  design or  during construction  and their  costs                                                                    
     will  increase  dramatically.  The  same  is  true  for                                                                    
     crossing avalanche  zones, talus  slopes and  rock cuts                                                                    
     that will  be as high as  150 feet. I believe  the site                                                                    
     development at  the Katzehin  Ferry Terminal  will need                                                                    
     to  be  much  bigger  to  handle  the  serious  traffic                                                                    
     congestion that  will occur if DOT  operates as planned                                                                    
     without a reservation system.                                                                                              
     I do not  believe the Alaska Class  Ferries being built                                                                    
     in Ketchikan  are ideally suited  to be  short distance                                                                    
     shuttle   ferries.  They   were  designed   to  operate                                                                    
     efficiently  at  15  knots   for  four  hours,  not  15                                                                    
     minutes. The  passenger capacity and  amenities they'll                                                                    
     have make no  sense for the way DOT  expects to operate                                                                    
     them. After the road is built  DOT may come back to the                                                                    
     legislature  for funds  to  build  the right  shuttles,                                                                    
     just like the $11 million  more DOT requested six years                                                                    
     after spending $17 million to  raise the Million Dollar                                                                    
     Bridge  near Cordova.  A bridge  that goes  nowhere. On                                                                    
     the  need side  I  believe DOT  has overstated  traffic                                                                    
     demand.   It's  almost   double   their  two   previous                                                                    
     estimates. Almost  all of the increase  is from traffic                                                                    
     originating in Juneau. It's  based on household traffic                                                                    
     surveys  from Anchorage  and the  rest  of the  country                                                                    
     that  already have  roads  extending  in every  compass                                                                    
     direction. In  developing this  estimate DOT  opted not                                                                    
     to follow  FHWA's Interim  Guidance on  the Application                                                                    
     of  Travel  and  Land  Use Forecasting  in  NEPA.  That                                                                    
     guidance  is   supposed  to  ["]  assist   agencies  in                                                                    
     creating   better    and   more    legally   defensible                                                                    
     forecasting   applications   ["].   It   recommends   a                                                                    
     collaborative scoping  process involving the  public at                                                                    
     the  start of  the NEPA  work. That  never happened.  I                                                                    
     believe  this  project  constitutes an  unwise  use  of                                                                    
     money at a time  when budgets everywhere are shrinking.                                                                    
     Juneau residents will be the  prime beneficiary of this                                                                    
     expensive road. If you want  to measure its real value,                                                                    
     ask  Juneauites to  tax  themselves to  pay  for it.  I                                                                    
     assure you the demand will disappear.                                                                                      
2:42:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG  DAHL,  Executive  Director, Juneau  Chamber  of  Commerce,                                                               
stated that the Juneau Chamber  of Commerce represents 185 Juneau                                                               
business; therefore,  he is Juneau  centric in his comments.   He                                                               
has lived  in Juneau for  more than  50 years, raised  his family                                                               
here,  and  has  a  great   appreciation  for  the  lifestyle  of                                                               
Southeast Alaska.  Over two  decades that the Juneau Access [Road                                                               
Project] has gone  on it has consumed months  and literally years                                                               
of testimony for and against the  project, but at each stage, the                                                               
project has  moved forward and he  hopes that will continue.   He                                                               
said the Juneau  Access [Road Project] is a top  priority for the                                                               
Juneau Chamber of Commerce and has  been since its inception.  He                                                               
indicated that his organization  sees the value of infrastructure                                                               
as  a  means  to  create economic  development  and  benefits  to                                                               
businesses at  both ends of the  road.  He said  this project was                                                               
started to  give access to the  capital city by all  Alaskans and                                                               
it  will give  Juneau  access to  the  rest of  Alaska.   The  JA                                                               
project provides  opportunities for  the Alaska  Seafood industry                                                               
to  have a  new corridor  in Lynn  Canal.   It will  provide more                                                               
access  and direct  access to  mineral  deposits, as  well as  an                                                               
alternative  to the  ferry system  in  the event  that the  ferry                                                               
service  is cut  back due  to budget  constraints.   This project                                                               
will bring construction jobs as  well as additional jobs once the                                                               
road is  completed.  As a  means to address the  current economic                                                               
crisis,  the Department  of  Transportation  & Public  Facilities                                                               
should be allowed to complete  the [draft Supplemental] EIS, come                                                               
to  a record  of  decision (ROD),  and bring  this  project to  a                                                               
conclusion at some point in the future, he said.                                                                                
2:44:17 PM                                                                                                                    
WAYNE  JENSEN, Chair,  Alaska Committee,  stated that  the Alaska                                                               
Committee is  a nonprofit  corporation whose  purpose is  to make                                                               
state  government  work  better  for all  Alaskans  by  enhancing                                                               
Juneau  as  Alaska's  capital  city.   Its  22  member  board  of                                                               
directors  represents  a  diverse  cross-section  of  the  Juneau                                                               
community.  Since 1995, when  the Alaska Committee was officially                                                               
formed,  it  has  consistently   supported  improving  access  to                                                               
Juneau.   For example, the  Alaska Committee was  instrumental in                                                               
pioneering "Gavel  to Gavel" television,  has worked  with Alaska                                                               
Airlines  to   make  air  travel  more   economical  through  the                                                               
constituent  fare,  Club  49  programs,  and  in  supporting  the                                                               
technological   and   physical   improvements   to   the   Juneau                                                               
International   Airport,  the   downtown  area   surrounding  the                                                               
Capitol,  including  acquisition of  the  Tom  Stewart and  Terry                                                               
Miller  buildings, and  improvements  to Main  Street and  Seward                                                               
Street.   The Alaska  Committee has  supported completion  of the                                                               
Lynn Canal [Road  Project] and it has been  incorporated into the                                                               
committee action plan  and the Alaska Committee  has continued to                                                               
advocate  for its  completion,  including supporting  Alternative                                                               
2B.    He pointed  out  that  the road  link  to  Juneau is  also                                                               
supported by residents throughout the  state.  The state has made                                                               
significant  progress  on  the  project.   He  urged  members  to                                                               
continue to support continuation of  the EIS, continuing with the                                                               
work that was started and to  avoid losing ground in the planning                                                               
process,  which   can  lead  to  the   project  eventually  being                                                               
constructed.   He  concluded  by saying  that  completion of  the                                                               
project will make the capital  more accessible and make travel to                                                               
and from Juneau more economical.  He thanked members.                                                                           
2:46:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MURRAY WALSH  said that it  is easy to  get lost in  criticism of                                                               
the  Environmental Impact  Statement  (EIS) and  in  many of  the                                                               
details.   He emphasized two  important things for  the committee                                                               
to  remember, first,  that  Alternative 2B  will  provide a  huge                                                               
increase to traveling capacity for  Juneau residents and visitors                                                               
by providing nine times the  current capacity, and second, people                                                               
will be able  to travel for less  money and much less  time.  The                                                               
state will  spend state funds on  travel in Lynn Canal,  but what                                                               
it  obtains for  this investment  will be  a huge  improvement in                                                               
access, not  just for families,  but for goods and  for industry.                                                               
He acknowledged that some people oppose  this road and will do so                                                               
using any  means, he said.   He urged  members not to  allow them                                                               
hijack  the project  or "throw  sand in  the gears"  by requiring                                                               
additional review.   He emphasized that this  project has already                                                               
undergone significant legislative and  public scrutiny.  Although                                                               
he  did  not  object  to the  new  administration  reviewing  the                                                               
project,  he urged  members to  not allow  that process  to limit                                                               
progress in this region.                                                                                                        
2:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
PAULETTE SIMPSON  stated she is  speaking in favor  of continuing                                                               
the Juneau Access Road Project.   She asked for ways to judge the                                                               
economic  value  of a  road.    For  example, this  project  will                                                               
replace  expensive,  inefficient,  slow-moving  vessels  in  Lynn                                                               
Canal.     She  stressed   the  value   in  faster   and  cleaner                                                               
transportation,   in   less    expensive   and   more   efficient                                                               
transportation.   Further, there is  value in opening up  land to                                                               
attract business  investment and outside capital,  and in putting                                                               
hundreds of Alaskans to work on  a project; however, much of this                                                               
value is impossible  to quantify, while the costs  of the current                                                               
system are  easy to quantify, she  said.  Last fall  she listened                                                               
to a  segment that  described how the  road to  economic recovery                                                               
was taking  different routes.   Communities across  America close                                                               
to  highways were  in the  economic  fast lane  compared to  more                                                               
isolated communities.   She  said that  the three  communities of                                                               
Juneau,   Haines,   and   Skagway  will   benefit   from   better                                                               
connections.  The state budget  shortfall does force the state to                                                               
operate within constraints,  but it also highlights  the need for                                                               
a  diversified economy,  which is  exactly  what highways  bring.                                                               
She  recalled  testimony  yesterday   during  the  House  Finance                                                               
Committee, the DOT&PF  rolled out proposed cuts  that will reduce                                                               
ferry  service throughout  the system,  eliminate the  summer day                                                               
boat  that  serves the  three  aforementioned  communities.   She                                                               
offered  her  belief  that permanent  connectivity  will  have  a                                                               
positive  impact.    She  stated  that  recommendations  by  this                                                               
committee  can advance  sustainable transportation  and influence                                                               
the long-term  equilibrium of this  region, which  is desperately                                                               
needed.   She related her understanding  that Commissioner Luiken                                                               
supports finishing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).                                                                    
2:50:40 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY WATERMAN stated  that she has been a  Juneau resident since                                                               
1970.   She  recently used  the ferry  to travel  to Sitka.   She                                                               
appreciated Gregg  Erikson's analysis,  and all  of the  work the                                                               
DOT&PF  is currently  doing.   She  hoped that  there  will be  a                                                               
record of decision (ROD) next  year.  She supported completion of                                                               
the ROD.   She said she  has questions on the  economic analysis.                                                               
She said that  the DOT&PF and the  Federal Highway Administration                                                               
(FHWA) will be answering those  questions.  She offered to submit                                                               
additional written comments.                                                                                                    
2:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY  FERRY, Volunteer,  Southeast  Alaska Conservation  Council                                                               
stated that she works with the SEAC.   If this road is built, she                                                               
will likely drive on the road,  which will be great; however, the                                                               
question  is whether  the state  should  subsidize her  vacation.                                                               
The question of  subsidizes is a big one.   She acknowledged that                                                               
in looking  at the  "big picture" roads  are cheaper  to maintain                                                               
since  they cost  the  state less  per mile.    However, the  EIS                                                               
document takes this argument and turns  it on its head.  She said                                                               
that ferry  alternative and  the [Alternative  2B] have  the same                                                               
baseline,  but building  the  road will  require  building a  new                                                               
ferry  terminal, avalanche  control,  maintenance and  operations                                                               
(M&O),  and  in fact,  the  general  fund road  maintenance  will                                                               
increase by $5 million per year.   She pointed out a long list of                                                               
highways along  the road system in  the state will be  built this                                                               
summer because  the STIP  amendment shifted  funds from  the Knik                                                               
Arm  Crossing and  the Juneau  Access [Road  Project].   She said                                                               
there are plenty of other  projects to use the funding designated                                                               
for the [Juneau Access Road Project].                                                                                           
2:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CLAY FRICK  stated that he is  a resident of Haines  but spends a                                                               
lot of  time in Juneau.   He has had ample  opportunities to ride                                                               
the  ferry.    He  doesn't  have to  worry  about  black  ice  or                                                               
avalanche chutes.  In fact, he  wondered about the amount of time                                                               
the proposed road would be  impassible or a white knuckled drive,                                                               
which  will far  exceed  the  timeframe to  arrive  at the  ferry                                                               
terminal, eat  breakfast, and arrive  in Haines 4.5  hours later.                                                               
He offered  his belief that  the road  will present a  danger and                                                               
there will  be deaths on  the road.   He expressed  concern about                                                               
the  extra  cost  to maintain  the  road.    He  said that  as  a                                                               
consumer, he finds  the ferry system to be a  much better option.                                                               
He  also cautioned  against spending  federal funds  just because                                                               
the  federal money  is available,  especially for  something like                                                               
2:56:55 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL GROSSI,  Lobbyist, Alaska  State Pipe  Trades UA  Local 262,                                                               
stated support the  project and not because it  provides any jobs                                                               
for  plumbers,  but  since it  will  create  additional  economic                                                               
development.    Thus,  he  said the  potential  exists  for  more                                                               
private  sector jobs.   Of  course,  as members  of the  building                                                               
trades,  the   organization  supports  its  brother   and  sister                                                               
organizations.  On  a personal note, it would be  nice to be able                                                               
to leave  town on  the spur  of the moment.   During  summer, the                                                               
ferries are full so without  advance planning travel it precludes                                                               
any  opportunity   to  make  last   minute  decisions   to  visit                                                               
Whitehorse.   He characterized ferry  travel as pleasant,  but it                                                               
does require advance planning.                                                                                                  
2:59:15 PM                                                                                                                    
COREY BAXTER,  District 8 Representative, International  Union of                                                               
Operating  Engineers  Local  302,  stated that  he  is  a  fourth                                                               
generation  Alaskan.   He read  a letter  from the  International                                                               
Union  of Operating  Engineers Local  302,  as follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     The  International Union  of Operating  Engineers Local                                                                    
     302  strongly encourages  the Transportation  Committee                                                                    
     and any  Legislature to proceed with  the Juneau Access                                                                    
     Project.  This project  is a  shovel ready  project for                                                                    
     which  the funding  has already  been appropriated  and                                                                    
     cancellation could  result in federal  penalties. Since                                                                    
     there are no other shovel  ready projects, it is likely                                                                    
     the federal funds would be lost to Alaska.                                                                                 
     The Juneau Access project  is a critical infrastructure                                                                    
     project   for   Juneau   and  Southeast   Alaska.   The                                                                    
     construction  jobs  will   help  offset  the  necessary                                                                    
     reduction in  other state employment and  spending. The                                                                    
     completion of  the road will  allow the  private sector                                                                    
     to develop  in our  economy. The project  will increase                                                                    
     transportation  capacity  and  reduce travel  time  and                                                                    
     cost  in the  region, particularly  for travel  between                                                                    
     the Lynn  Canal communities of Juneau,  Haines, Skagway                                                                    
     and Alaskans traveling on the road system.                                                                                 
     If this  Administration halts  this project,  we wonder                                                                    
     what alternative they will offer  to reduce the cost of                                                                    
     transportation and  travel for the residents  of Juneau                                                                    
     and upper  Lynn Canal,  short of cutting  more services                                                                    
     and ports of call on the  Lynn Canal route. The cost of                                                                    
     ferry  transportation remains  significant. The  design                                                                    
     of the  ferry system  cannot provide services  to other                                                                    
     parts of Southeast Alaska if  it must continue to serve                                                                    
     the northern portion as it  does now. It's time to move                                                                    
     this  project   ahead.  I  would  like   to  thank  the                                                                    
     Transportation  Committee  for  their time  and  effort                                                                    
     with this project and hope to see it move forward.                                                                         
3:01:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HUGHES, after first determining no one wished to                                                                       
testify, closed public testimony on the Juneau Access [Road                                                                     
3:02:14 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Transportation Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:02