Effort to Un-Stall Juneau Road Fails

The state’s latest move to un-stall the Juneau road has failed. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to look again at its ruling requiring more consideration of the ferry system. Citizens Pro Road Chairman Dick Knapp is already saying the state ought to appeal.

“Let’s be realistic. You’re going to go back and do a supplemental EIS, okay? That takes time, probably more time – running through the hoops again – than it would take to go to the Supreme Court,” Knapp said. “Not only that, we’ve been at this now, for what? Twenty years. What do you think has been happening to the cost of construction with all the delays?”

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council Communications Director Dan Lesh continues to point to the ferry.

“What we want is investment in the ferry system. But if the state thinks the road needs further study and wants to a full Environmental Impact Statement that looks at all the options, that’s fine with us,” Lesh said. “I think it’ll show that ferries are a cheaper and better way of moving things around in Lynn Canal and throughout Southeast Alaska.”

The latest estimates put the project cost at $500 million. It’s been a regional transportation priority of the past three state administrations.

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Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

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