HCR 28: Relating to extension of the James Dalton Highway to the Arctic Ocean.
00HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 28 01 Relating to extension of the James Dalton Highway to the Arctic Ocean. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature reaffirms and declares that there is an 04 immediate need for a public highway from the Yukon River Bridge to the Arctic Ocean; and 05 WHEREAS this highway will provide the first year-round, overland route to the Arctic 06 Ocean and will result in the completion of a highway from the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic 07 Ocean; and 08 WHEREAS the highway between the Yukon River Bridge and the Arctic Ocean is 09 named the James Dalton Highway, popularly known as the Dalton Highway; and 10 WHEREAS the Dalton Highway provides North America's only highway link to the 11 Arctic Ocean; and 12 WHEREAS the Dalton Highway is the second northernmost highway in the world; 13 and 14 WHEREAS the Dalton Highway was opened for public access to Deadhorse in 1994;
01 and 02 WHEREAS the federal Department of Transportation added the Dalton Highway to 03 the national highway system in 1995; and 04 WHEREAS, during the last year, the average daily traffic at the Yukon River Bridge 05 has increased 34.5 percent and at the Kuparuk River has increased 45 percent; and 06 WHEREAS the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the Bureau of 07 Land Management, and other agencies are providing waysides, campgrounds, and other 08 facilities for the increasing number of travelers on the Dalton Highway; and 09 WHEREAS there is a strong demand from these travelers for unrestricted private 10 vehicle access to the Arctic Ocean; and 11 WHEREAS the Alaska division of tourism's official state map shows the Dalton 12 Highway reaching the Arctic Ocean shores; and 13 WHEREAS travelers wishing to take their vehicles or bicycles to the shore of the 14 Arctic Ocean are prohibited access seven miles short of their goal by an oil company check 15 point; and 16 WHEREAS the only existing access to the shore of the Arctic Ocean is through 17 payment to an oil company authorized bus tour operator; and 18 WHEREAS a 1995 report by the University of Alaska stated "A large number of 19 visitors expressed disappointment in not being allowed ocean access without payment, others 20 with large families could not afford the cost, and others were livid with the restriction"; and 21 WHEREAS the East Dock Road is built to federal highway secondary standards, 22 provides a safe and short route to the ocean from Deadhorse, and bypasses major industrial 23 areas; and 24 WHEREAS the East Dock Road is used very infrequently and only for oil spill 25 training; and 26 WHEREAS the East Dock Road gravel pad is ideal for establishment of a visitor 27 wayside, complete with travelers' facilities; and 28 WHEREAS, in an era of declining oil revenues, Alaska's tourism industry will benefit 29 from travelers' desire for unrestricted access to the Arctic Ocean; and 30 WHEREAS tourism is the second largest employer in the state; and 31 WHEREAS the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the oil industry
01 can resolve concerns that presently restrict access to the ocean; 02 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports opening the last few 03 miles of the Dalton Highway to provide unrestricted public access to the Arctic Ocean; and 04 be it 05 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the 06 Governor to direct the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to move 07 expeditiously in providing visitor access and facilities at one of Alaska's incomparable 08 destinations, the shores of the Arctic Ocean.