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Alaska Railroad to seek public input on 2011 capital improvement plans


The Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) will host open houses this month and in early February for the public to review and comment on the railroad’s proposed $55.9 million capital spending plan for 2011.

The public sessions — to be held Jan. 11, 12, 25 and Feb. 4 — will showcase current and proposed capital improvements projects between Seward and Fairbanks.

The first two sessions will emphasize projects in and around Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, southcentral Alaska and system wide, including: Port MacKenzie Rail extension; South Wasilla Rail Line relocation; the Matanuska River bridge rehabilitation and other bridge work; Whittier Yard security fencing and Whittier branch signalization; commuter-rail opportunities; positive train control; and track rehabilitation, drainage improvements and embankment projection.

The third session will emphasize projects in interior Alaska and the fourth on projects in and around Seward and southcentral Alaska.

Of the $55.9 million budgeted for new capital improvement spending, about $13.8 million is expected to come from Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants,  including a required 9 percent matching contribution from the railroad, according to an ARRC prepared statement. Other federal funding includes $2.93 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency-administered grants and $1.38 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 dollars.

ARRC will spend another $23.7 million on internally funded capital projects using revenue from passenger, freight and real estate business. The railroad also will spend about $14.1 million generated from revenue bonds sold in 2006 and 2007. The bonds are repaid with FTA formula fund appropriations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/7/2011