Island-Wide Transportation Plan to be Unveiled

Maggie Wall/KMXT

Imagine this, an elaborate ferry and road system connecting all of Kodiak’s villages with the town of Kodiak and with access to the mainland and parts south.

How about a road from Akhiok to Alitak or from Karluk to Larsen Bay? Or how about extending the Monashka Road 11 miles farther out to Shakmanof Cove, near Ouzinkie Narrows, and building a ferry terminal there to serve the west side?

These are some of the ideas being floated in a feasibility study to provide island-wide transportation connections.

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly will hear details about the study at a special work session tonight.

The 170-plus page study considers the costs and possible revenues of an island-wide system that would include punching in new roads, extending others, and building new docks.

The report, presented by the McDowell Group, says such links would not be cheap. For instance, an 18-and-a-half mile, single lane, gravel road linking the villages of Karluk and Larsen Bay would cost in the range of $18 million. Annual maintenance costs would run about $140,000. Then there would be the possible adverse affects to the Karluk River and its salmon to consider, among other things.

If this all seems a bit much to swallow, it is worth noting that the report states the obvious. Though development of a self-sustaining Kodiak Island ferry system is unlikely under any circumstances, there are possibilities for improving the economics of the system.

The reports includes a variety of road extensions and connections that could give much better transportation coverage at a much lower price than full blown best case scenario.

Tonight’s (Tuesday’s) Borough Assembly special work session will be held at 7:30 in the borough assembly chambers.

Meanwhile, down the hall in the borough conference room, the Kodiak City Council will hold its regular work session which will include a discussion of proposed development and long-term lease options at the municipal airport.

The City Council work session starts at the same time as the assembly’s at 7:30.

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