The Last Frontier’s New Projects

Jan. 27, 2023
How Alaska is implementing the IIJA

After a three-week hiatus, our examination of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is back. Earlier this month, we explored how Alabama is preparing for the law. Continuing in alphabetical order, we now set our sights on the state known as the last frontier.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Alaska has earned an overall infrastructure grade of C-. The bridges in Alaska earned a grade of B-, while its roads earned a C grade.

The IIJA is providing Alaska with $3.73 billion to improve its road and bridge infrastructure network. The first installment of that five-year commitment is $739.19 million in fiscal year (FY) 2022, which began October 1, 2021. Of that total, $686.43 million in formula funds had to be committed by the end of FY 2022. On average, federal funds support 74% of state capital spending in Alaska for highway construction, right of way purchases, and planning and design work.

Alaska has committed $678.87 million in formula funds for highway and bridge projects as of the end of last September. This does not include eligible transfers to other agencies or programs. This has supported 245 new highway formula fund projects in FY 2022.

Reimbursements for work related to these projects is $164.10 million. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced four IIJA discretionary project grants in Alaska, valued at $44.7 million.

Top Projects

According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Alaska has planned a series of projects that will upgrade its infrastructure and make the communities surrounding the projects a better place to live. Below are some of the largest federal aid highway and bridge projects that moved forward between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022 using IIJA funds.

·     Alaska will spend $41.68 million on the new highway alignment east and west of Juneau Creek, connecting back to the existing sterling highway (this includes stages 3, 4, and the main phase). Work includes reconstruction, new construction and grading, roadside hardware, drainage, structures, and ancillary work.

·      The state will spend $34.74 million to rehabilitate pavement and replace the following bridges: Placer Creek, Portage Creek, and 20 Mile River. The project includes road realignment, grade separations at Portage Valley Road, passing lanes, and pedestrian accommodations.

·      For $28.43 million, Haines Highway from Milepost 12 to Milepost 20 will be reconstructed. This includes realignment at some locations, widening of shoulders, grading, paving, and drainage improvements.

·      Tribal Transportation Program will receive $28.27 million. The Alaska TTAP is a program funded by a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to assist tribes in developing transportation resources, infrastructure, and development opportunities for Alaska Tribes.

·      For $26.14 million, the Seward Highway from Milepost 17 to Milepost 22.5 will be rehabilitated. This project will replace the Victor Creek Bridge, rehabilitate the bridges over the Snow River, and it may include widening shoulders and the construction of passing lanes where feasible.

·      Alaska will spend $22.76 million to construct dedicated pedestrian facilities at Milepost 231 on the Parks Highway. This will include bridge work, drainage improvements, intersection improvements, utilities, and roadside hardware.

For a full list, click here.

Alaska is taking advantage of this once in a lifetime funding opportunity, and the projects are going to help the communities that need it most. Be sure to catch up on our past IIJA coverage, and check back next time when we dive into what Arizona is doing with its IIJA funding.


Source: ARTBA

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