A new $356 million infrastructure bond bill introduced by the governor Friday aims to make improvements at the Fairbanks Youth Facility, Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home, Fairbanks International Airport and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Senate Bill 74 targets several major highways in the Interior and to the north for new bridges and other improvements, including $28.8 million worth of repairs on the Dalton Highway. Another project in the bond proposal is construction of a $13.1 multi-use recreational trail from Fairbanks to Seward.
Two residence halls at the University of Alaska Fairbanks would see $18.6 million worth of modernization under the bond proposal.
The bill aims to invest $20 million on statewide fire break protection and another $1 million for improvements to the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel in Whittier. The 2.5-mile tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in North America.
The bill leverages a $1 billion worth of matching federal funding, according to an announcement from the office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Senate Bill 74 was referred to the transportation and finance committees and, if passed by the Legislature, would go to the voters for final approval.
“This statewide bond package is essential to stabilizing our economy and putting Alaskans back to work following the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic,” Dunleavy said in a prepared statement. “Not only will this proposal create jobs, it will improve critical infrastructure for all Alaskans.”
The bill lists scores of airports, harbors and highways across Alaska for $175 million worth of improvements. Another $12 million would be spent on public safety communication services and system upgrades.
An $18.8 million investment is proposed for the Fairbanks Youth Facility. The Fairbanks Pioneer Home is recommended to get new flooring and a new roof costing an estimated $2.4 million.
Four bridges on the Parks Highway would be replaced, a bridge on the Denali Highway would be replaced and portions of the Richardson Highway would be widened.
Also proposed is $2 million worth of investment in state park sanitation facilities.
The governor wants to invest $25 million in schools via a major maintenance grants fund and another $14 million in municipal harbors with another grants program.
The governor is proposing to invest $30 million in the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula and $9 million to replace the Houston Middle School, which was condemned after a 2018 earthquake.
Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka is proposed to receive $7.8 million worth of repairs.
The Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward is proposed to receive $19.5 million worth of upgrades.
The full list of proposed projects can be seen online at bit.ly/36MmGx2.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.