Bonds for harbors and roads win OK

Money tied to efforts to transfer management of harbors to the city

Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2002

A bond package approved by voters Tuesday will help fix harbors in Juneau and elsewhere in Southeast Alaska.

For more Juneau Empire coverage of the November 5 general election, please visit the Juneau Empire Elections Guide.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 68 percent of voters approved the $226.7 million transportation bond package, with 32 percent opposed.

In Juneau, 69 percent of voters supported the measure and 31 percent were opposed.

The ballot proposition includes $123.9 million in traditional general obligation bonds to be paid back from the state general fund and $102.8 million in Garvee bonds. The Garvee bonds are to be paid back with money the state expects from federal grants for highway construction.

In Southeast Alaska, the general obligation bonds will pay for road projects in Ketchikan and Sitka and harbor improvements in Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Yakutat and Klawock.

The package includes $7.1 million for Juneau harbor improvements at Statter Harbor in Auke Bay, Harris and Aurora harbors downtown, Douglas Harbor, the North Douglas launch ramp and Taku Harbor, south of town. The harbor repair money is tied to an effort to transfer ownership of state harbors to the communities that run them.

The general obligation bonds also will pay for a $37.5 million extension of Abbott Loop in Anchorage, $13.2 million for Old Glenn Highway rehabilitation in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and $8 million for Fairbanks downtown street improvements.

Garvee bonds will pay for eight projects ranging from a $36.1 million extension of C Street in Anchorage to a $5 million upgrade of South Tongass Highway in Ketchikan.

The last time Alaska voters approved a bond package was in 1980, and that time the money went for fishery facilities, roads, prisons and other projects.

Empire staffer Joanna Markell contributed to this report.

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