DOT: This year’s construction projects are still a go

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Department of Transportation addressed recent concerns over construction projects halting due to a lack of capital budget.

In a statement released Friday, the department said that the projects in construction this year will not be affected by the current capital budget impasse.

“The federal funding and state match for these projects were authorized in past budgets,” Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner John MacKinnon said in the issued statement. “However, without an adequately funded FY2020 capital budget the state fails to capture nearly one billion dollars in federal transportation and infrastructure dollars which would place into jeopardy future projects."

The thought of losing one billion dollars in funding is alarming to Alaska Truck Association executive director Aves Thompson.

“Our highways system is where our drivers workplace,” he said. “And we want them to have a safe workplace where they can come home every night to their families.”

Thompson said, however, that he is being “cautiously” optimistic about the situation. He said that's because of the ratio in which federal funds will match the state’s money.

“To turn down the opportunity to receive almost a billion dollars in federal dollars, federal funding, for the lack of funding 100 million dollars in match money, is not good business,” he said. “We’re hoping that the legislature can solve the issues around a capital budget.”

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