Monday, June 17, 2013
Agreement Reached on Knik Bridge Route, But Construction is Still Years Away
The Municipality of Anchorage settled its lawsuit over the proposed access route for the Knik Arm Bridge that would have impacted the ports expansion project.
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan announced today the city has settled its lawsuit against the group vying to build a Knik Arm crossing.
In 2008, the city sued to stop plans to build the bridge’s right-of-way through the north end of the Port of Anchorage because it would have impacted a new dry barge project underway there.
The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority, KABATA, says it has agreed to narrow its footprint in the area, allowing both projects to go forward.
But the bridge itself is years away at best.
It has been mired in controversy, from the $750 million price tag to the potential environmental impact on migrating salmon and beluga whales.
Currently, KABATA says it is negotiating with the owners of five Government Hill-area lots to buy the properties -- land needed to build the access points to the bridge.
Both parties agree the Mat-Su Valley will double its population over the next 25 years, and the Glenn Highway is not currently configured to handle the extra traffic.
And at an estimated $10 per roundtrip for passenger vehicles, many wonder if the bridge project will ever break even.
For its part, KABATA says the bridge should start making money in seven years and during the first 35 years should net the state $1.1 billion in toll money that it can use for other transportation projects.