MAT-SU—Officials with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Alaska Railroad told reporters in a press conference in Palmer today that the release of the final environmental study means the Port MacKenzie Rail project moves a step closer to construction.
See the video below.
The 35.2 mile link will connect the deepwater Port MacKenzie to the Alaska mainline near Houston. "We're really looking for the latest economic development project for the state of Alaska," said Mat-Su Assembly Member Cindy Bettine. The rail extension will transport minerals in the Interior to tidewater faster and for lower transportation costs, Bettine said.
Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss reflected on how a version of the project began when he was on the Assembly ten years ago. "I'm glad to be one step closer toward pushing the rail line toward the Alaska Railroad," De Vilbiss said.
Alaska Railroad Project Manager Brian Lindamood said initial estimates of the project cost reach $218 million. "I'm very excited that we've reached this milestone in this project," Lindamood said. "One of our primary tenets to the State is to assist in the economic development of the State."
See more videos on the project including former Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom discussing the economic benefits at this link: RickMystromonRail
For more information email Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan
Video produced by Media Design Specialist Stefan Hinman.