The 32-mile Port MacKenzie Rail Extension is an ongoing Southcentral Alaska transportation infrastructure project. The entire rail extension is owned by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough including the siding at Houston, the embankment, bridges, culverts, and the 200-foot-wide right of way. The property is closed to all activities except for those related to the project.
In May, construction began to extend an access road in Segment 2 that will be a future rail crossing.
The rail project is 75 percent complete with one segment of active rail and four segments of gravel embankments. In 2015, track was placed in the northern part of the project near Houston for a rail siding, which allows trains to pass and cars to separate from trains. “No Trespassing” signs are posted along the spur, and gates are locked to prevent unauthorized travel from damaging the embankment. Borough Code Compliance officers will be monitoring the corridor.
As hunting season continues, please read the State hunting regulations and know who owns the land where you plan to hunt and get permission from them. The U.S. Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in Anchorage also has maps with specifics on access.
Most of the land along the rail spur is private. All the legal access routes that cross the rail spur are designated for winter travel only due to the large extent of wetlands along the corridor.
“Ethical hunters respect private property and seek permission before entering or crossing someone else’s property;” said Eddie Grasser, President of the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska, a nonprofit that works with the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game on outdoor education including hunting. “It’s best to get permission from the property owner before you go whether it’s Borough, State, Federal, or private land,” Grasser said.