Governor commits future funding for Silvertip Maintenance Station
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Michael Dunleavy expressed his commitment to support future funding for the maintenance station that serves Seward and Sterling highways on Tuesday.
At a press conference in Kenai, the governor announced he will continue to support future funding for the Silvertip Maintenance Station on the Kenai Peninsula, according to a press release. This commitment is said to provide funding during next year’s fiscal year 2023 budget cycle.
His announcement means funding will be in place through the spring of 2024, according to the press release.
It also stated that funds for the station will be allocated from federal funds for the Federal Highway Administration, provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
“Kenai area residents can rest assured that winter maintenance in the Turnagain Pass area of the Seward Highway will be in place for years to come,” Gov. Dunleavy said in the release. “The safety of Alaskans and their families driving that section of the highway in winter is of the utmost importance for me and my administration.”
Prior to the stations’ resurgence to the public eye, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities closed Silvertip Station in 2019 due to budget cuts.
Operators from the station covered Seward Highway through Turnagain Pass. After the closure, the duties were split between Girdwood Maintenance station and Crown Point, just south of Moose Pass.
In December, after multiple accidents and complaints from residents, Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) wrote a letter to the governor requesting the station to be reopened. Dunleavy directed DOT Commissioner John MacKinnon to reopen the station the following day.
The governor allocated funds to the station for this winter and the following winter, according to a press release announcing the reopening of Silvertip Station in December.
“Public safety is and will be the highest priority of my administration,” Dunleavy said in the December release. “A crucial component in that pledge is keeping essential infrastructure, like our highways, in safe working order for the movement of residents, freight, and emergency services.”
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