Project will proceed using more than 90% federal highway funding.
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) will restart the University Avenue Rehabilitation & Widening project in Fairbanks, replacing $19.6 million in state funds with federal highway funds.
This critical project will improve safety and mitigate congestion on one of Fairbanks’ most heavily traveled and crash-burdened roadways, but was among several state-funded projects Gov. Walker suspended last June in response to the state’s budget deficit.
The project was funded in 2008 with general obligation bonds that were eventually converted to state general funds in 2010. While funding capital projects with state funds was financially feasible at that time, it no longer makes financial sense to use the state’s dwindling savings accounts to pay for a project that is eligible to receive funding from the Federal Highway Administration.
DOT&PF will use federal money to prioritize this project in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the state’s fiscally constrained three-year list of planned highway projects.
Work on the project will resume with the federal government covering over 90 percent of project costs. “In these tough fiscal times, it’s imperative we leverage federal funds on construction projects that will improve the safety and well-being of Alaskans,” Commissioner Marc Luiken said.