Dunleavy Visits Yukon, Signs Highway Accord

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    In his first official visit to the Yukon during five years as Alaska’s governor, Mike Dunleavy signed an agreement that commits more than $31 million to repairing a damaged section of the Alaska Highway.
    The new memorandum of understanding, signed Friday by Dunleavy and Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai, affects the section of the highway between Destruction Bay and the Alaska border.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Alaska will provide funding, and the Yukon government will perform the repairs.
    More than four-fifths of the traffic that uses that stretch of highway involves vehicles driven by Americans to and from Alaska.
    “By working cooperatively with our neighbors in the Yukon, we can help ensure that people traveling to or from Alaska on the road are able to do more safely with fewer road hazards,” the governor said in a prepared statement.
    Since 1977, the United States and Canada have followed the Shakwak Agreement, which calls for the United States to pay for the paving and maintenance of the portion of the Alaska Highway from Haines Junction to the border and for the Haines Highway from Haines Junction to the border.
    Congress cut funding for the agreement in 2013, and American money ran out several years later. Since then, the road’s condition has deteriorated, causing the Yukon to limit speed limits in particularly rough places.
    The federal infrastructure bill of 2021 included funding for Shakwak work, and Alaska’s draft four-year transportation plan calls for spending $31.25 million in state and federal money on the effort between 2024 and 2027.
    The Yukon government has estimated that the full cost of the project may be up to CA $500 million ($370.37 million).
    The highway memorandum signed Friday was part of a five-year agreement between Alaska and the Yukon to “work together on matters of joint concern and mutual interest” and share information on common issues.
    Talking to Canadian journalists on Friday, Alaska and Yukon officials said those issues include security and wildfires.
    Dunleavy told the CBC that the threatened shutdown of the Port of Seattle during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency caused his administration to revive talks about the Alaska Highway and relations with the Yukon.
    “We decided at that point that we aren’t going to wait for somebody to take care of us,” Dunleavy told reporters, according to the CBC. “We have to start acting like a sovereign on our own.”
–––––––––
https://alaskabeacon.com/james-brooks

Login Form

 

20 YEARS AGO

June 2004 

Advertisement: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Caring Employee of the month! Franklin Thomas Hospital Nutrition Services.

50 YEARS AGO

June 1974

Edna Revard is enjoying a much-deserved vacation: she and youngest son Joe are in Italy visiting her older son, Jack, his wife and child. Jack is with the military, stationed in Italy. Edna will be gone a month, the crew at Revard’s Restaurant says.

Calendar

Local Events

Instagram

Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!

Facebook

Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!