Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities employees met at Discover Eaglecrest Day on Saturday to field questions regarding the Juneau Douglas North Crossing Planning and Environmental Linkages Study. This photo shows a map of potential locations proposed so far for the construction of the bridge if it comes to fruition. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities employees met at Discover Eaglecrest Day on Saturday to field questions regarding the Juneau Douglas North Crossing Planning and Environmental Linkages Study. This photo shows a map of potential locations proposed so far for the construction of the bridge if it comes to fruition. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Transportation officials provide info on second crossing study

“We want to hear from everybody.”

Stations set up Saturday at Eaglecrest Ski Area and Safeway offered residents more information about a long-gestating proposed second crossing linking the north end of Douglas Island and mainland Juneau.

Marie Heidemann, a project manager for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said potential locations are still being determined, and alternatives are being developed. The area being studied is north of the Douglas Bridge.

“There’s no funding right now for design or construction, it’s simply a way to step into design and step into the environmental process, but with a lot more public involvement upfront,” Heidemann said. “So, right now we’re engaging the public to identify alternative locations and the next step of the study will be to take those locations and run them through a preliminary screening for any fatal flaws where they just doesn’t make sense or isn’t feasible, then we would do a higher level screening to narrow down to even just a handful of alternatives that would then receive detailed screening and at the end of the study we would have just a couple of alternatives that we recommend for a potential project.”

Heidemann said so far, it’s been a mixed bag in terms of public support. Overall, Heidemann said the response has been tentative because she suspects people want to better understand the potential locations.

“We want to hear from everybody, we want to hear a lot of ideas, that’s the benefit of the PEL (planning and environmental linages) study is that we get to do a lot of public involvement so we can get as much information as possible as we move forward,” Heidemann said. “I think some people are concerned about the impacts of the bridge, either environmental or property. It’s been kind of a mixed bag; I think people have support and lack of support for a variety of reasons.”

Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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