City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385
http://www.juneau.org

Engineering Department

North Douglas Crossing of Gastineau Channel

Public Involvement Project



Project Overview

The City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) has identified the North Douglas Crossing of the Gastineau Channel as a top transportation priority for Juneau. Project objectives are to:

  • Allow more direct access to West Douglas Island (beyond the end of North Douglas Highway) to serve planned residential, industrial, port, commercial and recreation uses.
  • Improve emergency response and transportation safety.
  • Improve access and travel efficiency between the Juneau mainland and Douglas Island.

 

Public Meeting - Presentation and Handouts

The CBJ hosted public meetings on January 17 and January 30 to review technical information and hear public comment regarding the North Douglas Crossing project. The following are copies of the presentation and handouts that were presented at the January public meetings:

The "North Douglas Crossing-Comparison of Alternative Crossings" handout has been revised since the January public meetings, to include updated estimates of project costs and fill footprints.

 

The CBJ is conducting a public involvement project to determine the community's preferred location for the crossing, among the following alternatives:

  1. Vanderbilt Hill Road Area Corridor
  2. Sunny Point Corridor
  3. Yandukin Drive Corridors (A, B and C)

The Vanderbilt Hill Road, Sunny Point and Yandukin Drive "A" and "C" Corridors would be overland routes. The Yandukin Drive "B" Corridor would be constructed in a tunnel under the airport runway, and would resurface to an overland route across the active channel. Click here to view an aerial photo of these alternative crossing locations.

The CBJ's decision to focus on these alternatives was primarily based on analysis in the May 2005 Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF), Juneau Second Channel Crossing, Project Development Summary Report (see Related Documents section below.) Crossing routes closer to downtown concentrate traffic and future development between the existing bridge and the new crossing, and would not provide effective access to West Douglas. Routes west of the airport would have greater impact on high value environmental resources, potentially impact airport operations, and be more expensive to construct, and would not sufficiently relieve traffic on the existing bridge. Assembly Resolution 2330(b), passed in October 2005 documents the CBJ's decision to focus on these alternative crossing locations.

The Assembly is now inviting the Juneau public and the stakeholders most affected by the channel crossing to become more informed about these alternative routes and to share their ideas, concerns, and preferences with the CBJ. The results of this comprehensive public involvement program will assist the Assembly in determining a Juneau community-preferred alternative for the North Douglas Crossing. This determination will be important in DOT&PF's future work on the North Douglas Crossing. Note that an environmental analysis, detailed design and funding will be required before construction can begin.

Background

The CBJ has identified the second channel crossing as a high priority need in its Area Wide Transportation Plan. Since 1984, there have been several studies of a potential second Gastineau Channel crossing, related transportation improvements, and potential development. The studies included conducting a 1984 CBJ feasibility study on fifteen potential crossing locations; preparing a plan for economic development opportunities on West Douglas in 1997; and various traffic and economic studies including the 2001 Area Wide Transportation Plan.

In 2003-2005, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities contracted with HDR Inc. to initiate a scoping process for a North Douglas Crossing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), in combination with preliminary engineering and environmental baseline conditions/studies, in order to assess current conditions within the project study area and document preliminary findings. HDR reviewed all past and current crossing alternatives and considered the environmental, engineering and construction costs of fifteen alternatives. This work considered physical conditions, transportation planning, existing and future land uses, environmental constraints and regulations, engineering criteria/constraints/feasibility, navigational considerations, development plans, ranges of planning level costs, consistency with purpose and need objectives, and agency and public comments received during the preliminary scoping phase for the EIS.

The Juneau Second Channel Crossing Project Development Summary Report, prepared by HDR Inc. (May 2005) reached the following preliminary conclusions:

  • A crossing in the vicinity of the Vanderbilt Hill Road Area to Yandukin Drive Area provides the greatest potential for meeting the comprehensive Purpose and Need objectives of the project.
  • The least costly crossing potentials (with embankment) are in the Vanderbilt Hill Road Area to Sunny Drive Area.
  • For an "all-structure" crossing (bridge) of the Gastineau Channel, the Channel Drive/Salmon Creek Area Crossing represents the least costly option.
  • The Channel Drive/Salmon Creek Area and Mendenhall Peninsula Area provide the only opportunities to avoid directly impacting the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge (MWSGR).
  • Crossings in the Vanderbilt Hill Road Area to Yandukin Drive Area best avoid the highest value environmental areas with the MWSGR.

To date, the DOT&PF's environmental analysis for the project has not proceeded past the initial scoping work. DOT&PF's Juneau Second Channel Crossing web site provides additional information about the scoping process and preliminary results.

See Related Documents section of this web site for links to key documents from related studies.

Public Involvement Process and Schedule

The Assembly is interested in hearing from the general Juneau public and from key stakeholders affect by a North Douglas Crossing, regarding their ideas and preferences for the alternative crossing locations: Vanderbilt Hill, Sunny Drive, and Yandukin Drive. The elements of the North Douglas Crossing Public Involvement Process include:


Background Information and Consultation November 2006

Prepare updated graphics/maps of the three alternative crossing locations; better define routes and alignments.

Meet with agencies and Airport to obtain latest information about issues, opportunities, constraints.

Stakeholder Interviews November-December 2006 Interviews with key stakeholders (such as neighborhood associations, West Douglas Development Advisory Group, hunters, conservation groups and other interest groups) conducted to provide an overview of the project, identify issues and concerns, and discuss their ideas and preferences regarding a preferred crossing location.
Public Information November 2006-February 2007 Provide public information throughout the public involvement project, through a CBJ project web site, local media, and direct mail to the project contact list, including property owners.
Public Meetings January 17, & January 30, 2007

Host public meetings:

January 17, Centennial Hall - 7-9 p.m.

January 30, St. Paul's Catholic Church Parish Hall (9500 Atlin Dr.) - 7-9 p.m.

Written Public Comment Deadline February 9, 2007 Deadline for written public comments.
Community Opinion Survey February 2007 CBJ conducts community opinion survey.
Final Report March-early April 2007 Publish report with findings and recommendations. Present to CBJ Assembly at Committee of the Whole meeting, Monday, April 9, 2007.

The CBJ has contracted with Sheinberg Associates, assisted by R&M Engineering, PND Engineering, and the McDowell Group to conduct the North Douglas Crossing Public Involvement Program.

For more information, contact:

Jan Caulfield, Sheinberg Associates, 907-586-3141 - email: janc@gci.net

Related Documents

Maps and Photos

2003-2005 Initial Scoping Work for Environmental Impact Statement:

1983-1984 Feasibility Studies:

Related Links





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