• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 19s

Looming federal budget cuts could hit rural Alaska transportation projects hard

By Rhonda McBride 7:49 AM December 4, 2013

News has tribal leaders worried about the future of rural transportation

ANCHORAGE – So many transportation projects, not enough dollars.

This is not a new problem for the state. But the size of impending federal budget cuts will likely hit rural Alaska hard.

It’s news that has tribal leaders, attending a Bureau of Indian Affairs conference in Anchorage this week, worried about the future of projects that have been in the planning stages for years. Don Fancher, a state transportation planner for the Kuskokwim River region in Southwest Alaska, said the reauthorization of a MAT-21, a federal highway bill, could have a huge impact on rural transportation projects.

“Under the new transportation bill, there is no funding provided. In the past, this has equaled in the area to $90 to $100 million a year for the state of Alaska,” Fancher said.

For Arlene Franklin, a transportation planner for the Manokotak tribe in Bristol Bay, there’s a lot at stake. Roads projects create jobs, which can help offset a poor fishing season.

The tribe is also trying to build a road to a site for a gravel pit. The gravel would then be used to build a second road to the mouth of the Snake River, which would give the community closer access to fishing grounds and help fishermen save money on gas for their boats.

From broken boardwalks to airport runways threatened by erosion, Fancher hears about a lot of pressing needs in the course of his state job.

“For the money to dry up and go away is putting many of the hopes and long range transportation plans in a bit of a quandary,” he said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Forrest Dunbar off to Juneau, will join effort to improve Alaska National Guard

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 02, 22:50

    Alaskans may remember Forrest Dunbar from his catchy campaign slogan, “Run, Forrest, Run.” The former Democratic candidate for Congress now has a new job. He will join the team of leaders selected to create change in the Alaska National Guard. Dunbar posted on his Facebook page that in the wake of a sexual assault scandal within […]

  • News

    Federal agency seeks comment on offshore Arctic drilling risks, rewards

    by Shannon Ballard on Mar 02, 22:28

    The federal government said no to energy development on millions of acres in Alaska. But the fate of the outer continental shelf – the submerged lands lying seaward of state waters — has been, for the most part, unexplored for oil. Consumer Energy Alliance Alaska is one of several energy advocate groups that wants to change […]

  • News

    This week at the Anchorage School Board, March 2

    by Alexis Fernandez on Mar 02, 21:31

    At the March 2 Anchorage School Board meeting, the Anchorage School District updated the board on Visit Our Schools month, which was held in February. Nearly 2,200 families visited 33 schools across the district. That number is up from 1,607 visitors in 2014, when the event was first held. The event featured weekly tours for parents throughout […]

  • Sports

    Junior Iditarod winner announced

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 02, 21:20

    Kevin Harper nabbed the win in the 130-mile Junior Iditarod race Monday. Jimmy Lanier and Andrew Nolan finished second and third, respectively. The race, which featured 11 mushers (aged 14 to 17) this year, started on Sunday. Due to the poor weather conditions that have plagued snow sports all winter long, the race was moved […]

  • Sports

    Another honor for UAA’s Travis Thompson

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 02, 19:50

    Senior Seawolves star Travis Thompson was named to the All-GNAC First Team basketball squad this week. This is Thompson’s second year in a row to receive the honor. The 6’1” guard is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 17.2 PPG and 44.1 percent from the three-point line. He’s also the team’s clutch free-throw shooter […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, March 2

    by KTVA Weather on Mar 02, 19:42

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Rain and snow is expected to return. Some locations will have highs in the 40s. Southeast Clouds will return. The south will continue to have sunshine. Interior and North Slope Expect increasing clouds along with falling temperatures. Matanuska Valley and Copper River Basin Prepare for a wet week ahead […]

  • News

    2 men rescued after snowmachine collision near Noorvik

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 02, 19:16

    A multi-agency search-and-rescue effort helped authorities locate two men separated after their snowmachine was disabled Sunday in a collision in rural Alaska. Alaska State Troopers were contacted by the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator a little after 10 a.m. and alerted to a collision along the Noorvik-Selawik winter trail. A search effort was […]

  • Politics

    AKLeg: Limits proposed for gas line group in alternate project

    by Associated Press on Mar 02, 19:12

    Gov. Bill Walker says he would veto a bill from the Alaska House speaker that would limit participation by the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., or AGDC, in an alternate gas pipeline project. The bill follows Walker’s proposal to increase the size of a smaller, in-state gas line project, citing uncertainty about whether the major liquefied […]