Transportation Advisory Committee presents findings to Department of Transportation

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Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 9:20 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Manh Choh ore haul plan met on Thursday, November 16 to present a series of actions that could be taken to make the transfer of gold ore down Alaskan highways from near Tetlin up to Kinross Fort Knox as safe as possible.

The meeting serves as the culmination of more than a year and a half’s work by the committee.

A total of 59 alternatives were presented, each recommending a specific action.

However, many of these were not agreed on by the entire TAC, with members noting their disagreement.

Alternatives included installing slow vehicle turnout lanes at certain points along the route, building a new scale for the ore haulers, widening the highway shoulders, and changing the timing of streetlights.

Some TAC members reported feeling steamrolled by the ore haul project, which is moving forward despite objections from some on the committee. Jon Cook, TAC member representing Advocates for Safe Alaska Highways, said, “The state has failed the people. They have failed us. So, my recommendation, honestly, is DOT , you bring us what you’re going to do, because you’re going to take this report and you’re going to chuck it. I want to hear from you what you’re actually going to do, not what we recommend. You don’t need to blow smoke at us. Tell us what you’re going to do this winter. How about that, for a start? How about tell us what you’re going to do tomorrow? You haven’t done that.”

The public meeting took place both in-person and via Zoom, with in-person announced as an option on Wednesday.