Murkowski Announces Over $57 Million in Additional Infrastructure Funding for Alaskan Communities

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) are awarding over $57.1 million in grants for infrastructure upgrades and development across Alaska. The grants are for road construction, dock and service center construction, and buses and bus facilities.

The entities benefiting from these new awards, which are being made under the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, include the Gulkana Village Council, City and Borough of Juneau, Metlakatla Indian Community, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, City and Borough of Sitka, Bristol Bay Native Association, and Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska.

“The good news from our bipartisan infrastructure law continues. This latest round of grants will help Alaskans with road construction, facility construction and upgrades, and cleaner buses for public transportation,” Senator Murkowski said. “The communities that receive these grants will benefit from better transportation, less pollution, and lower costs for their residents. I thank both FTA and DOT for considering Alaskans’ applications, and look forward to continued assistance for additional communities in the years ahead.”

“As Alaska’s communities change and grow, the need for affordable public transportation will also continue to increase,” said Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson. “Transit has become a greater necessity in all of our communities, large and small. We are really pleased to see these transit grants spread throughout the state’s transportation network.”

“Sitka would like to extend a sincere thanks to Senator Lisa Murkowski for her support of Sitka's working waterfront, and the assistance with our successful raise grant application. This grant insures the continued operation of our community cold storage. Sitka's economy is held up by commercial fisherman, and we appreciate the ability to invest in them,” said Sitka Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz.

“The Soaring Eagle Transit (SET) Multi-Purpose Operations and Maintenance facility will be the first and only maintenance facility for the transit. It will provide heated, dry space for COVID preventive measures, a warming shelter for customers, administrative and operations offices, and three maintenance bays. Since 2015 Soaring Eagle Transit vehicle upkeep has been performed outside the village hall parking lot. Situated in the interior of Alaska, SET must operate vehicles half the year in the winter months.  These colder temperatures 0—42 degrees cause continuous problems with the transit vehicles in terms of performance. The maintenance facility will allow SET to prolong the life of the fleet and continue to provide safe and reliable service to the residents and tourist of the Copper Valley. The Gulkana Village Staff would like to thank the Federal Transit Authority, Bus to Bus Facilities program and Senator Murkowski for the support that enables SET to be selected as a 2022 grant recipient,” said Gulkana Village Council Tribal President Eileen Ewan.

“Metlakatla Indian Community would like to thank the Federal Transit Authority for awarding our project the Metlakatla Municipal Building - Annette Islands Ferry Terminal Battery Electric Bus Service in the amount of $402,257. This grant is part of our overall strategy to reduce transportation costs and reduce air pollution in Southeast Alaska. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary automobile trips and reduce auto emissions significantly. It will provide transport services to the community and supplement our elder transport services and those without adequate transportation. In addition, it will provide energy storage for our micro-grid when it is not in use reducing the cost of transportation and energy for the Metlakatla Indian Community. We again thank Senator Murkowski and the federal government for this funding,” said Metlakatla Indian Community Mayor Albert Smith.

“The Ketchikan Gateway Borough is extremely excited that we were selected to receive a FTA grant to electrify our buses. This, combined with our renewable hydropower, will allow our transit department to provide quiet, exhaust free public transportation for years to come.   A win for the environment and our community. Our heartfelt appreciation to Senator Murkowski for her efforts in securing this grant for the community,” said Ketchikan Borough Mayor Rodney Dial.

“Thank you to Senator Murkowski for all her efforts leading the infrastructure package and ensuring that Alaskans needs would be addressed. This grant for low emissions busses will help the Fairbanks North Star Borough improve our public transit options in a clean and efficient manner,” said Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward. 

"I’m very pleased with the outcome and extremely proud of our team and their hard work. This grant award is a big step forward in bolstering our working waterfront and crucial to one of our major economic drivers. We’re also very appreciative of our delegation’s support, both by supporting our application and making infrastructure funding more available for communities like ours,” said Sitka Municipal Administrator, John Leach.

Grants from the Federal Transit Administration’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program and Low or No Emission Vehicle Program include:

  • Gulkana Village Council – Over $4.2 million for Soaring Eagle Transit’s (SET) multi-purpose operations and maintenance facility.
  • City and Borough of Juneau – Over $2.2 million for Capital Transit for maintenance facility rehabilitation and security modernization.
  • Metlakatla Indian Community – $402,257 for battery electric bus service to the Metlakatla Municipal Building and Annette Islands ferry terminal.
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough – Over $4 million to support the use of hydropower and transitioning to electric buses and charging infrastructure in Ketchikan.
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough – Over $2.4 million for FNSB compressed natural gas buses and compressed natural gas paratransit vans.

Grants from through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program include:

  • City and Borough of Sitka – Over $7.8 million to fund design and construction of Sitka’s Marine Service Center.
  • Bristol Bay Native Association – Over $13.2 million to help construct 4.3 miles of gravel road connecting two communities.
  • Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska – Over $22.3 million to fund construction of a new dock, container storage yard, and associated utilities.

Related Issues: Infrastructure