City, state sign on to channel crossing study

City, state sign on to channel crossing study

A new study for a second bridge to Douglas

State and city officials will commission a study to explore options for a second crossing between Juneau and Douglas Island, the City and Borough of Juneau announced Monday.

Juneau and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public facilities signed a memorandum of agreement to conduct a Planning and Environmental Linkages, or PEL, study for what’s being called the Juneau North Channel Second Crossing Project.

The purpose of the study is “is to identify affected resources and potential impacts and gather public and agency input to determine options for a second crossing,” a CBJ news release said.

Plans for a second crossing date back to the ’80s, and in 2018 the Empire reported on an effort championed by then-Mayor Ken Koelsch. An exact location for the proposed crossing has not been identified.

[City revisits idea of North Douglas crossing]

“There have been efforts over the years to talk about a second channel crossing,” Watt told the Empire Monday afternoon. “And when I say ‘over the years’ I mean 45 years, roughly.”

The state and city signed the agreement Aug. 10 and will use money allocated by the Assembly in 2018 for the $210,000 needed in matching funds for the study, according to CBJ.

DOT will take the lead on the project, the release said, with the help of a private consulting firm. A firm hasn’t yet been chosen, DOT spokesman Sam Dapcevich said, a contract would be put out to bid at a later date.

Though studies have taken place in the past, this study would be a brand new planning process, Watt said, that would evaluate all the options and come up with a preferred location.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

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