In a letter to state Department of Transportation commissioner Mark Luiken, state office of management and budget director Pat Pitney has advised DOT to proceed within existing appropriations, to continue work on the Knik Arm Crossing.
The memo, dated July 6, advises DOT to seek federal loan money to pursue right of way requirements. The memo essentially removes the Knik Arm project from a state halt on mega projects.
DOT spokesperson Shannon McCarthy says the memo will allow DOT to pursue a letter of interest for a federal TIFIA loan
“We are picking up really exactly where we left off when the administrative order was issued, so we were about to pursue the letter of interest for TIFIA, we were working with the National Marine Fisheries Service for the permit, which most of the other permits hinge on this permit, and then of course, finishing up the right of way, in particular, working with Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.”
McCarthy says the steps outlined in the memo are all outside of the control of the state, so it makes sense to pursue them, so the state can decide whether to move forward on the bridge project or not.