FAIRBANKS — Work has begun on what could one day become the first leg of a road to Nome. At the beginning of July, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities employees began clearing brush and conducting surveys for a proposed road from Manley Hot Springs to Tanana Village. The road is part of Gov. Sean Parnell’s “Roads to Resources” program, and will run along land owned in part by the state and in part by the Tozitna Native Corporation.
The state has allocated $10 million to fund this initial stage, $6.4 million from Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and $3.6 million from the general fund. This will pay for an initial trail to be cleared that will allow workers to survey, take core samples and conduct archaeological work in the event the road should impede upon a historical or cultural site.
The DOT coordinates with both the Department of Natural Resources and the Alaska Native corporations in this effort.
The end goal is to complete an environmental document that would be submitted for public review and input.
“The environment document is essentially a collection of all of the survey work we do, we work through a check list; wetlands, surveying, archaeological work, cultural resources, fish and habitat survey, and we ensure that environmental impacts are mitigated,” DOT spokeswoman Meadow Bailey wrote in an email.
Bailey said the weather will play a major role in determining how much gets done this summer and what DOT will have to work on next year.