The third special session of the 30th Legislature convened and concluded on July 27 with the delivery of a capital budget. The capital budget included important investment in state infrastructure projects. It secured $1.2 billion in federal dollars while only spending $122 million Unrestricted General Funds. Unfortunately, it did not return your dividend to the correct amount. It will be capped at $1,100. I voted against the capital budget because it did not restore the full dividend. Until we have a full fiscal plan, we should honor our commitment and provide those dividends.
Senator Gardner shares a story on why she voted against the capital budget.
Seward Highway Construction
Several people have expressed interest and curiosity about the ongoing construction on the Seward Highway between Dowling Road and Dimond Boulevard. While this area of construction is just outside of our district, I know it impacts a lot of you and am happy to share some information for those who are curious. This information comes from the Alaska Navigator:
A federal aid highway project where 90% of the funding is through the federal government and 10% are matched by the state.
Widening the Seward Highway from 4 to 6 lanes (1.5 miles)
Providing ramp improvements to the existing interchanges at Dimond Boulevard and Dowling Road.
Installing a new bridge over E. 76th Avenue/Lore Road. The roads will be extended under the Seward Highway.
Adding a sidewalk and bike lane along each frontage road
Extending Sandlewood Place to Lore Road and adding a sidewalk along the west side of Sandlewood Place.
The Highway expansion between Dimond Boulevard and Dowling Road is expected to be completed by summer 2019.
The new bridge at 76th Avenue is expected earlier, by fall 2017.
Improvements to Brayton and Homer Drives (as well as connection of 76th Avenue to Lore) is expected by fall 2018.
The improvements are part of the Anchorage Bowl comprehensive plan for Anchorage 2020. The expansion should be able to meet travel demands of planned growth in the area.
Federal dollars with state match (secured long ago), detours along the stretch of road between 36th Avenue and Rabbit Creek Road, and extended hours by the contractor.
StepUpAK is an opportunity for community members, local leaders, and businesses to be an active part of community building and civic engagement in neighborhoods where they live, work, and play. Alaska Humanities Forum invites you to join them to discuss safety, access, resources, and opportunities for strengthening our community. This is the fourth year of StepUpAK - after successful events in Mountain View, Ship Creek, and Spenard, this year’s program will be focused on Midtown with a theme of “Renew and Refresh." The event will be held Saturday, August 19 from 9:30-3:30 at the Loussac Library. Click here to register.