Fairbanks chamber backs Mat-Su rail plan

Resolution asks Alaska leaders to help project be completed by 2013

Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009

FAIRBANKS - The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a plan by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Alaska Railroad to extend track to industrial land near Anchorage.

The Point MacKenzie site on the north shore of Cook Inlet is a deep water port that could handle exports of coal, limestone and other natural resources.

The chamber resolution Monday said the economic activity would boost jobs and corporate taxes in the Fairbanks and Mat-Su boroughs.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the chamber resolution asks state leaders to help the project get built by 2013. It could cost as much as $250 million.

"Basically we're talking about some sort of state or federal funding," said John Duffy, manager for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Port MacKenzie also is the site of Fairbanks Natural Gas' liquefaction plant.

The municipality of Anchorage operates a major port on Cook Inlet, and the railroad extension would line up the two ports to split cargo.

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