Long-awaited Kodiak Island road extension receives financial boost from Congress, seeks to provide year-round access for communities

Kodiak’s proposed Anton Larsen Bay road extension has received a significant financial nudge forward from the federal government. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced on March 20 $2.5 million dollars in funding for the project through Congress’ Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations package, which was signed into law earlier this month on March 9.

Extending this road on Kodiak Island would provide year-round access to the northern part of the island, including an ice-free link for the nearby communities of Port Lions and Ouzinkie to use by boat.
Murkowski said in a recorded statement that trucks and large vehicles, not just ATVs will be able to use this road to transport freight.

“The project will also enable groceries and freight to be shipped by boat rather than expensive air freight during winter months. When completed, this project will be transformative to the communities of Ouzinkie and Port Lions,” Murkowski explained.

The Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) began preliminary work on the road extension in the fall of 2015, but a vision for the road goes back more than a decade. DOT says the project would construct two miles of gravel road from the end of the existing 15-mile long Anton Larsen Bay road, ending at a beach near Crag Point, which would include a parking area and boat launch ramp.

The most recent funding announcement is included in six of 12 appropriations bills passed by Congress for this fiscal year. That includes hundreds of millions of dollars for Alaska, going to areas like fisheries research, infrastructure projects, and healthcare access, among other things.

Duncan Fields, with Ouzinkie’s Spruce Island Development Corporation (SIDCO) told KMXT the corporation deeply appreciates Murkowski’s support for the road extension project. Fields went on to say that when the extension is complete it will benefit everyone living on the west side of the island and Kodiak as a whole.

Currently the project has yet to finalize the design phase, and Fields estimates construction won’t begin for at least a year or more, after the federal funding is disbursed and the design is finalized.

Check Also

Voters cast their ballots in the 2022 primary election in Anchorage on Aug. 16, 2022. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Midday Report – April 12, 2024

On today’s Midday Report with host Terry Haines: Alaska has the highest proportion of independent …

%d bloggers like this: