At a time when good news is hard to come by, we are thrilled to tell you that the Juneau Road finally has an end! Yesterday the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released their Record of Decision, selecting the no-build alternative for the Juneau Access Project, putting an end to the Juneau Road.
This decision protects US taxpayers and travelers in Southeast Alaska while preserving the largest roadless area on the Tongass National Forest, areas of great cultural significance to the Aak’w Kwáan, the original settlers of Juneau, and the abundant fisheries and wildlife resources of Berners Bay. It also supports the true heart of our transportation system, the Alaska Marine Highway, which provides transportation throughout Southeast for communities large and small.
Southeast Alaskans deserve improved transportation, not wasteful spending. The Juneau Access Project would have diverted critical funds necessary to maintain and improve our established transportation system, the Alaska Marine Highway, which serves all of Southeast, not just Juneau. Now Governor Walker, who has long objected to wasting scarce state dollars on the road, can use unexpended funds for other higher priority transportation needs in the greater Lynn Canal region!
Yesterday’s decision closes the door on this particular proposal, but the threat is far from over. The FHWA’s decision means that any renewed effort to resurrect this dead-end project would be required to start at the beginning. For some, this is merely a speed bump to get past, and many are already speaking up about ways to resurrect the project, including continuing to target the Governor’s office after the November elections. SEACC will remain ever vigilant, keeping you updated and working to improve our communities instead of wasting money on dead-end projects like the Juneau Access Project.
Today we celebrate this win, keeping Berners Bay wild and road-free.