Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

01/29/2019 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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Audio Topic
01:31:25 PM Start
01:32:24 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
02:34:56 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner-Designee MacKinnon, Department of
Transportation & Public Facilities
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                        January 29, 2019                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Mike Shower, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                
John MacKinnon - Anchorage                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOHN MACKINNON, Commissioner Designee                                                                                           
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as commissioner designee of the                                                                 
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
KEN MCCARTY, President                                                                                                          
Birchwood Airport Association                                                                                                   
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on earthquake preparedness during                                                               
the confirmation hearing for commissioner of the Department of                                                                  
Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:31:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHELLEY  HUGHES called  the Senate  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:31  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Wilson, Micciche,  Kiehl, and  Chair Hughes.                                                               
Senator Shower arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                        
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
 Commissioner, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:32:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  announced the  the  committee  would consider  the                                                               
governor's appointment  of John MacKinnon as  commissioner of the                                                               
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:33:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER joined the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:33:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN    MACKINNON,   Commissioner    Designee,   Department    of                                                               
Transportation  and   Public  Facilities  (DOTPF),   thanked  the                                                               
committee for holding the hearing  and expressed appreciation for                                                               
the  opportunity to  once again  serve  the State  of Alaska.  He                                                               
related that he was born and  raised in Juneau and graduated from                                                               
Huxley College of Environmental Studies  [with a degree in Marine                                                               
Resource Ecology.]  After graduation, he worked  for the National                                                               
Marine Fisheries  Service at the  Auke Bay Lab for  several years                                                               
and  then became  a building  contractor doing  mostly commercial                                                               
work. In  2002, he took  a position  as interim city  manager for                                                               
the City  and Borough  of Juneau,  and in  2003 he  was appointed                                                               
deputy commissioner  of transportation  for the State  of Alaska.                                                               
In  2008, he  assumed  the  role of  executive  director for  the                                                               
Associated  General Contractors  of Alaska  (AGCA) and  served in                                                               
that   capacity  until   the  new   administration  offered   the                                                               
opportunity to  return to  DOTPF. He  related that  it was  not a                                                               
difficult transition to  move from DOTPF to AGCA  in 2008 because                                                               
the issues are the same. "It was  how do we improve what we do in                                                               
the construction business." Returning to  DOTPF from AGCA will be                                                               
a similar transition.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He said  his time at AGCA  was spent advocating for  the industry                                                               
in support  of construction and development  projects, working on                                                               
statute and  regulation changes  to improve  the way  business is                                                               
done, and  working with owner  agencies on issues to  the benefit                                                               
of both sides.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  said  he  takes public  service                                                               
very seriously  and his philosophy is  "how to get to  'Yes' when                                                               
you're doing something." He shared  that his belief may have been                                                               
shaped by his personal experience  of having government officials                                                               
tell him  he couldn't  do something as  a contractor.  Some years                                                               
later  he  was  very  appreciative  when  a  government  official                                                               
described  a  path  to  get  approval of  his  request.  "It  was                                                               
refreshing to have somebody in  a regulatory position tell me how                                                               
to get what I  needed to do instead of just  the simple answer of                                                               
"No."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He said DOTPF staff generally go  out of their way to accommodate                                                               
the wishes and needs of the  public, but there are times when the                                                               
needs  of an  individual or  group  do not  outweigh the  greater                                                               
public  benefit   on  certain  transportation   improvements.  He                                                               
reiterated that his philosophy at DOTPF  will be to look for ways                                                               
to serve the public by getting them to "Yes" when possible.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILSON asked what DOTPF will  do for the Mat-Su to ensure                                                               
equitable sharing  of capacity to  address improvements  to their                                                               
safety corridor and to get relief after the earthquake.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  said  Central Region  personnel                                                               
have identified KGB Road and the  next phase of the Parks Highway                                                               
as  priorities  one  and two  respectively.  Both  are  difficult                                                               
projects because  of the disruption  to residents  and businesses                                                               
along  the   way.  He   noted  that   he  experienced   the  same                                                               
difficulties  with   the  first   phase  of  the   Parks  Highway                                                               
interchange  when he  joined  DOTPF in  2003.  He explained  that                                                               
increasing capacity  to meet the  traffic demands  means limiting                                                               
intersections and moving access to  driveways to a frontage road.                                                               
He  noted that  when projects  are large,  they are  often broken                                                               
into pieces to generate a  little more competition in bidding and                                                               
better use of the public's money.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:43:26 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  MACKINNON related that he  started work as                                                               
commissioner on December 3, 2018,  just after the earthquake. The                                                               
first day on the job  Senators Murkowski and Sullivan invited him                                                               
to visit  some of the damaged  areas via helicopter. On  one stop                                                               
they looked  at and took photos  of the damage on  Vine Road. The                                                               
next  day  the borough  manager  called  and  asked for  help  to                                                               
rebuild that  road. Mr. MacKinnon  said his staff  confirmed that                                                               
the  department could  get the  work  done. "Within  a couple  of                                                               
days, Vine Road was repaired and paved over," he said.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:44:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  thanked  him  for   the  response.  She  said  she                                                               
appreciates  DOTPF's system,  but  she is  not  sure that  people                                                               
realize how much the Mat-Su  has grown. She highlighted that more                                                               
than  19,000 people  live along  the two-lane  KGB Road,  whereas                                                               
Juneau has  a population that  is one-third larger and  is served                                                               
by a  four-lane divided  expressway. "It's  been grievous  to see                                                               
the number of fatalities and  serious injury along [KGB Road], so                                                               
I appreciate your attentiveness to that," she said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Chair Hughes  segued to ask  how he will  deal with the  issue of                                                               
his property  along the proposed  Juneau access road  and funding                                                               
for the ferry system.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:46:50 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  MACKINNON explained  that the  conflict of                                                               
interest  relates to  the Kensington  Mine. He  and other  family                                                               
members are  the primary owners  of the Hyak Mining  Company that                                                               
owns the  property on which  the Kensington Mine  is constructed.                                                               
Kensington Mine is currently mining  the ore body that belongs to                                                               
Hyak Mining  Company. He explained  that when he joined  DOTPF in                                                               
2003,  he resigned  as  a  director and  officer  of Hyak  Mining                                                               
Company. He also  sought an ethics opinion  from the department's                                                               
ethics  attorney  who advised  him  to  refrain from  making  any                                                               
decisions related to the project  because there was a conflict of                                                               
interest.  That  opinion was  reaffirmed  by  the current  ethics                                                               
attorney.  "I would  recuse  myself from  any  matter that  would                                                               
result  in either  a withholding  or  making a  decision on  that                                                               
particular project  or any project that  might reasonably benefit                                                               
that Kensington Mine property," he said.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER asked  if he  had consulted  the ethics  attorney                                                               
about any other areas that might be a conflict of interest.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  MACKINNON  said  he was  waiting  for  an                                                               
opinion as to  whether being a trustee on the  pension and health                                                               
trust  for the  Alaska carpenter  union might  be a  conflict. He                                                               
explained that he became a trustee  as a result of contracts that                                                               
he negotiated with six trade unions  while he worked for AGCA. He                                                               
said he  did not  see it  as a conflict  since carpenters  do not                                                               
deal directly with DOTPF.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  asked if  his plan was  to recuse  himself should                                                               
there be an ethical issue.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  said  yes, "I  hold the  public                                                               
trust very important."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  what his  management philosophy  will be                                                               
and the largest  challenges he foresees to get  the department to                                                               
more adequately fulfill its mission.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE MACKINNON replied  the largest challenge he                                                               
sees is  staffing because annual  turnover is 10-12  percent. His                                                               
goal is to hire professionals, treat  them well, and help them do                                                               
their job without micromanaging.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:53:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE noted  that in  recent years  the only  capital                                                               
budget for  highway projects  has relied  on federal  dollars. He                                                               
asked  Mr.  MacKinnon  how  he proposes  to  manage  the  state's                                                               
transportation needs with the $1.6 billion budget gap.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE MACKINNON replied  the state receives about                                                               
$500  million a  year from  the federal  highway trust  fund. The                                                               
state  match is  about  10 percent  and he  could  not imagine  a                                                               
budget  scenario where  the  state  would give  up  that kind  of                                                               
leverage.  The  situation  is similar  in  aviation.  About  $200                                                               
million  per  year comes  from  the  federal Airport  Improvement                                                               
Plan.  He  reminded  the  members  that  there  is  more  process                                                               
associated with spending federal  dollars than state dollars, but                                                               
it's hard to turn those dollars down.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:55:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  asked what his  thoughts were  on how to  do long-                                                               
term planning for the Marine Highway System.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE MACKINNON said the  model that works can be                                                               
seen  in  the southern  Southeast  community  of Metlakatla.  The                                                               
small  ship Lituya  operates  12 hours  a day  five  days a  week                                                               
between  Metlakatla  and Ketchikan  and  the  crew goes  home  at                                                               
night. The model of having smaller  ships that are home ported in                                                               
different  areas  could  work,  but  it  would  take  consistency                                                               
between  administrations to  carry  that through.  "It's hard  to                                                               
have a program when the wind keeps changing, he said.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:58:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  noted  that Governor  Dunleavy  has  talked  about                                                               
Alaska being open  for business and that, in addition  to oil and                                                               
gas, he  would like to  see other doors  opened. She asked  if he                                                               
and the administration  were thinking about new  projects and the                                                               
need   for  new   infrastructure  such   as  airstrips   or  port                                                               
development to accommodate new mines.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  MACKINNON  said the  Roads  to  Resources                                                               
program  under  former  Governor Murkowski  was  responsible  for                                                               
several small  projects that resulted  in access to  timber sales                                                               
on Gravina Island  and in the Mat-Su. The Ambler  Road is also on                                                               
the books as  a result of the program which,  if completed, would                                                               
access  a number  of mining  properties in  northwest Alaska.  He                                                               
noted that  involving DOTPT in  such projects can  complicate the                                                               
NEPA  (National   Environmental  Policy   Act)  process   so  the                                                               
department generally  stays out of the  way until it is  asked to                                                               
help.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked him to talk  about the proposed annual fee for                                                               
Uber and Lyft to use  the Anchorage International Airport and the                                                               
concern  that it  might be  more than  the annual  fee taxis  are                                                               
charged.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:02:06 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  said that  internal discussions                                                               
are  ongoing,  and the  public  comment  period  is open  on  the                                                               
proposal to charge transportation  network companies (TNCs) up to                                                               
but not more  than $2.50 to pickup and drop-off  riders. He noted                                                               
that  the costs  associated  with having  Uber  and Lyft  conduct                                                               
business  at the  airport  include putting  in  porta pottys  and                                                               
trash barrels at the cellphone  lot where the drivers spend time.                                                               
He further  noted that  airport activity  is increasing  and over                                                               
the  long  term  there  will   be  a  large  capital  expense  to                                                               
accommodate the additional cabs, buses, and TNCs.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:04:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if  the fees  for TNCs  and  taxis would  be                                                               
equitable. She pointed out that if  a taxi permit is $75 per year                                                               
and a TNC driver is charged  $2.50 per pickup or drop off, that's                                                               
equivalent to just 30 trips.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  MACKINNON said both equity  and parity are                                                               
considered in the ongoing conversations.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:04:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILSON  commented that the  leases at the  airport aren't                                                               
equitable  either.  He asked  Mr.  MacKinnon  his philosophy  and                                                               
DOTPF's  direction on  the public-private  partnerships to  build                                                               
new projects around the state.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  MACKINNON said  the traditional  model for                                                               
construction has  been design, bid,  build, but the  design build                                                               
model  has been  used successfully  in recent  years. The  Alaska                                                               
Psychiatric  Institute   (API),  Glenn  Parks   Interchange,  and                                                               
Whittier  Tunnel are  examples. The  Construction Manager/General                                                               
Contractor (CMGC) model has been  used for facilities for several                                                               
years and  is starting to  be used  for highways. Through  an RFP                                                               
process the  most qualified contractor  is selected to  work with                                                               
the  department and  designers early  in the  process. After  the                                                               
design process,  the maximum price  on the  construction contract                                                               
is  negotiated.  DOTPF  has  used  that  model  on  three  bridge                                                               
projects  and   the  Federal  Highway  Administration   has  been                                                               
promoting it.  The benefit is  that the guaranteed  maximum price                                                               
is established  when the construction contract  is negotiated. By                                                               
contrast,  the  design,  bid,   build  contract  establishes  the                                                               
guaranteed minimum price of a project.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:08:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  mentioned the damage  associated with  the recent                                                               
earthquake  and   asked  if  he  would   support  establishing  a                                                               
statewide building code for triplexes and smaller buildings.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  said  most municipalities  have                                                               
adopted building codes  that are for single family  homes as well                                                               
as  larger facilities.  With budget  cuts to  state agencies  the                                                               
last  several  years,  the  Fairbanks  and  Juneau  fire  marshal                                                               
offices  were consolidated  in Anchorage  and the  net effect  is                                                               
that in outlying  areas it takes longer to get  plans approved to                                                               
build anything.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked  if public facilities are  designed to current                                                               
earthquake standards.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  MACKINNON  said the  new  facilities  are                                                               
built  to current  codes but  the buildings  that had  failures -                                                               
such as  the schools in  Eagle River  and Houston, were  built in                                                               
the 1980s under a different set of codes.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:11:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   SHOWER   related   that  after   the   earthquake   his                                                               
cardiologist asked if  he could fly a heart attack  victim to the                                                               
hospital  in  Anchorage  because   the  roads  and  bridges  were                                                               
unusable.  He  asked  Mr.  MacKinnon  his  thoughts  on  building                                                               
alternate routes to accommodate that sort of situation.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE MACKINNON said  the legislature asked for a                                                               
study  last year  of  the Glenn  Highway  corridor and  alternate                                                               
routes,  and  the  department  will present  the  report  to  the                                                               
committee later this week. He  explained that if there is another                                                               
bridge  event on  the Glenn  Highway corridor  like last  spring,                                                               
DOTPF can handle  the connectivity, but the volume  of traffic is                                                               
a challenge.  The situation  was the  same after  the earthquake.                                                               
The southbound  lane to Mirror Lake  was closed for 4-5  days and                                                               
the bypass  worked well  but it  could not  handle the  volume of                                                               
traffic. That corridor has 40,000-50,000  cars a day and it takes                                                               
at least 4 lanes to handle that.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:13:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  highlighted that the  state library and  museum in                                                               
Juneau  is  another  example of  a  Construction  Manager/General                                                               
Contractor  (CMGC)  project  success.   He  recalled  that  DOTPF                                                               
brought it in about $7.5 million under budget.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  noted  the  shift  in approach  in  the  departments   public                                                               
facilities  section  over the  years;  certain  people build  the                                                               
facilities  and others  manage them.  He  asked if  consolidation                                                               
would be more efficient and effective.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  replied that  is happening.  In                                                               
2015  the state  recreated  the Division  of Facilities  Services                                                               
within  DOTPF and  over time  all public  buildings will  migrate                                                               
back  under that  division. So  far,  that model  is working,  he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL  asked if that  is helping to  get a handle  on the                                                               
deferred maintenance issues in state facilities.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  replied  it has  made it  clear                                                               
what the  deferred maintenance needs  are, but there  hasn't been                                                               
any funding. "We're getting woefully behind on things," he said.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:16:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  commented  that   part  of  managing  deferred                                                               
maintenance is  having a surplus  asset disposal plan,  which the                                                               
state  has never  had. He  asked if  he foresees  a comprehensive                                                               
plan  to  evaluate  the  inventory and  dispose  of  the  surplus                                                               
assets.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DESIGNEE  MACKINNON   said   the  department   has                                                               
discussed that  with the  Office of  Management and  Budget (OMB)                                                               
and  is looking  at  the  potential to  dispose  of some  surplus                                                               
assets.  He cited  the examples  of a  partially occupied  state-                                                               
owned  building on  Tudor Road  that was  earthquake damaged  and                                                               
several  state-owned buildings  that  were left  vacant when  the                                                               
Kulis   Air  National   Guard  Base   moved  off   the  Anchorage                                                               
International Airport property to JBER.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:20:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  about the  potential  to streamline  the                                                               
department by  privatizing certain services to  take advantage of                                                               
good and poor business cycles in the construction industry.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  MACKINNON said  his answer would  focus on                                                               
the part of  the department that does  the construction projects.                                                               
Theres   the design  section called  preconstruction and  another                                                               
called  construction.  About  50  percent  of  design  for  DOTPF                                                               
projects  is done  in-house on  an availability  basis. Over  the                                                               
years the department has found  that 40-60 percent in-house works                                                               
well. There is  also the federal requirement that  when a project                                                               
goes  to construction,  someone  from DOTPF  has  to oversee  the                                                               
project  and make  certain decisions.  He added  that things  are                                                               
contracted out when it is a benefit to both sides.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  said he would  submit a series of  questions on                                                               
that issue to the chair to  relay to the department.  I just want                                                               
to make sure  were  evaluating all of the  potential for bringing                                                               
the cost down, he said.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:22:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked if the economics are about the same for in-                                                                  
house design versus  contracting out or if one  is generally more                                                               
economical.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DESIGNEE  MACKINNON   said  it   depends  on   the                                                               
availability of  resources within the department  and the region.                                                               
The  northern  region  has  greater capacity  to  take  on  these                                                               
projects and  the central  region tends  to have  larger projects                                                               
such  as   Cooper  Landing.  Its   important   to  have  in-house                                                               
capabilities  for  projects  but  it's  also  important  to  take                                                               
advantage   of  consultants   if  that   makes  the   most  sense                                                               
economically.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES said  she  hopes to  continue  the conversation  on                                                               
using   the  most   economical  approach   to  projects   in  the                                                               
transportation finance subcommittee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:25:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  mentioned the  earthquake damage  to the  Port of                                                               
Anchorage, the  ongoing repairs, and  the most recent  $2 billion                                                               
estimate for repairs.  He asked what has  to happen strategically                                                               
to make  sure that critical  piece of infrastructure  is repaired                                                               
appropriately.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:25:59 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE MACKINNON  said  hed  like  DOTPF to  have                                                               
control,  but the  Municipality  of Anchorage  owns  the Port  of                                                               
Anchorage  and is  very territorial.  He noted  that he  met with                                                               
Railroad officials and  they are very aware  of the vulnerability                                                               
of the port and what could  be done. There are alternate ports in                                                               
Whittier and  Seward connected  by road  and railroad,  but those                                                               
would  both require  substantial  investment.  Port MacKinzie  is                                                               
another  alternative but  it isnt   built to  take the  volume of                                                               
freight  that  comes  into  Anchorage.   Its   designed  to  take                                                               
conveyors to load natural resources onto ships.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  related that she  was exploring the  possibility of                                                               
having a hearing on that topic.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:28:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER explained  that he raised the  question because he                                                               
wants  the public  to  know that  alternate  methods of  bringing                                                               
supplies into the state are being discussed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  MACKINNON  confirmed that  the  topic  of                                                               
conversation with the  Alaska Railroad was that  freight could be                                                               
delivered by  truck, through  the ports  of Whittier  and Seward,                                                               
via barge,  and air freight. It  would cost more but  there would                                                               
be food on the shelves in grocery stores.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES advised  that the committee would have  a hearing on                                                               
the recent earthquake and the disruptions that occurred.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:29:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:30:26 PM                                                                                                                    
KEN  MCCARTY,  President,  Birchwood Airport  Association,  Eagle                                                               
River, highlighted  that if  the roads  and bridges  are damaged,                                                               
the airport would be the center for moving supplies.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:31:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:31:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Chair Hughes  stated that  in accordance  with AS  39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate  Transportation  Committee   reviewed  the  following  and                                                               
recommends  the appointment(s)  be forwarded  to a  joint session                                                               
for consideration:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                
John MacKinnon - Anchorage                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  clarified that the  committee is not voting  on the                                                               
nomination  at  this  point  and the  vetting  will  continue  in                                                               
subsequent committees.  The only vote  that will take  place will                                                               
be on the floor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  assured the public  that earthquake  plans were                                                               
in place. He added  that it is always a good  idea look them over                                                               
with an eye for improvement.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:34:56 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Hughes   adjourned  the  Senate   Transportation  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 2:34 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
STRA Agenda 1.29.19.pdf STRA 1/29/2019 1:30:00 PM
Commissioner-Designee DOT MacKinnon Resume.pdf STRA 1/29/2019 1:30:00 PM
Commissioner-Designee DOT MacKinnon Resume