In addition to discussing vetoed items in the state budget, Governor Bill Walker used this morning’s press conference to announce that he is shutting down two megaprojects in the Mat-Su: the Knik Arm bridge, and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.
Large projects can often be contentious, and two of the more controversial projects in the last few years have been the Knik Arm Crossing and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. Governor Bill Walker says those projects will now come to an end, not necessarily due to their controversial nature—Governor Walker describes himself as “pro-construction”—but due to the state’s financial situation.
”I ran for governor to build Alaska, not to balance the checkbook. We’re balancing the checkbook because that’s the hand we were dealt. It pains me to shut down anything involving a construction project or an infrastructure project.”
Governor Walker says that the studies and prep work that have gone into both megaprojects will be preserved. Susitna-Watana alone has spent nearly $300 million on studies as part of its federal licensing process, and Walker does not want that data to be lost. (more…)