Shelter Cove road project opens up for bids

KETCHIKAN — A $19 million project linking Ketchikan’s road system to Shelter Cove in Carroll Inlet has gone out to bid.

The Alaska Department of Transportation opened the 7-mile, single-lane gravel road project to bids on Tuesday, according to an announcement from state Sen. Bert Stedman.

The project is moving forward following delays in federal permitting requirements and with the help of local, state and federal agencies as well as Alaska Native corporations, The Ketchikan Daily News reported.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Stedman.

Voters approved funding for the Shelter Cove road project in two bond packages in 2008 and 2012, according to Stedman.

The project comes as most Alaska projects have struggled to find new funding with the state facing a multibillion-dollar deficit.

“Given our huge deficits and downturn in the oil and gas industry, the state needs to focus on other ways to create jobs and economic development so Alaskan families can survive,” Stedman said in his announcement.

Gov. Bill Walker has also shown support for the project. He praised the road’s benefits in a statement Tuesday, saying it will create economic opportunities for the Ketchikan region.

“I am grateful for the collaborative efforts made by state, local, federal, and private agencies to advance this project, and I look forward to seeing the Shelter Cove Road to completion in the future,” Walker said.

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