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Alaska Department of Transportation seeks public input on infrastructure spending

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 4:52 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT) is asking Alaskans to fill out a survey expressing their preferences for how money in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” will be spent.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill was signed into law by President Biden on Monday, November 15th, and is expected to have a tremendous impact on Alaska.

From roads and bridges to ports and ferries, the state will likely see a sizeable influx of spending.

Caitlin Frye, Northern Region Information Officer with the Alaska DOT explained, “Our federal highway funding will increase by about 40%.”

“We do expect a lot of additional funding for our aviation network as well,” she added.

But much remains unknown about the scale of the impact. “We’re still really in the beginning, planning stages for this. We know we’re going to get a lot more money, and we know that we have a lot of places that we want to use it and a lot of needs here,” Frye said.

The survey the DOT has prepared asks 4 questions. Frye said, “We’re asking ‘How do you use our infrastructure?’”

She went on to say that respondents are also asked what priorities they have for improving Alaska’s facilities and transportation system. “Do you think we should focus on improving congestions and traffic congestion on our roads, or do you think that we should be improving opportunities for recreation, or should we be improving public transit?”

Finally, the survey asks where Alaskans would like to see the state’s transportation system in 20 years, according to Frye. “Do you want to see electric charging stations on our roads? Do you want to be able to have autonomous vehicles on our roads? Do you want to see things improve for our freight system?”

In the Interior, the money could go toward projects that have already been planned, and Frye explained that “we also could see improvements to our trails and our transit.”

The survey is available on the Department of Transportation’s website and on its Facebook page.

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