CSSB 31(TRA): "An Act relating to a transportation corridor for extension of the Alaska Railroad to Canada and to extension of the Alaska Railroad to connect with the North American railroad system."
00 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 31(TRA) 01 "An Act relating to a transportation corridor for extension of the Alaska Railroad to 02 Canada and to extension of the Alaska Railroad to connect with the North American 03 railroad system." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 42.40 is amended by adding new sections to article 5 to read: 06 Sec. 42.40.460. Extension of the Alaska Railroad. (a) The corporation may 07 delineate a proposed transportation corridor between the existing railroad utility 08 corridor of the Alaska Railroad and the border of Alaska and Canada. The 09 transportation corridor shall be at least 500 feet wide except where, in the 10 corporation's discretion, physical obstacles or private land ownership patterns make a 11 narrower transportation corridor appropriate. The transportation corridor may be 12 designated for a use identified under AS 42.40.350(b) and, subject to this section, 13 other transportation and utility uses. The corporation may also identify land for use as 14 rail land that can be developed for terminal, station, and maintenance facilities,
01 switching yards, and other purposes associated with the transportation corridor. The 02 corporation shall prepare a complete legal description of the proposed transportation 03 corridor and the rail land identified under this subsection. 04 (b) In performing the work authorized by (a) of this section, the corporation 05 shall consider the following factors: 06 (1) safety; 07 (2) grade and alignment standards that are commensurate with rail and 08 utility construction standards and that minimize the prospect of at-grade railroad and 09 highway crossings; 10 (3) availability of construction materials; 11 (4) effects on and service to adjacent communities and potential 12 intermodal transportation connections; 13 (5) environmental concerns; 14 (6) use of public land to the maximum degree possible; 15 (7) minimization of probable construction costs; 16 (8) the location of and the opportunity to obtain access to identified 17 natural resources that could contribute significantly to the economic development of 18 the state and Canada; 19 (9) avoidance of possibly unstable ground due to thawing of frozen 20 soils; and 21 (10) prior and established traditional uses. 22 (c) If the corporation identifies all or a portion of the proposed transportation 23 corridor or associated rail land, 24 (1) the Department of Natural Resources shall reserve the 25 transportation corridor and associated rail land across state land identified by the 26 corporation, subject to valid existing rights; 27 (2) the department shall continue to manage the land reserved under 28 (1) of this subsection; the department shall consult with the corporation before 29 disposing of an interest in land within the corridor and associated rail land; the 30 department shall condition authorizations for activities on the reserved land to protect 31 the right of the corporation to construct the railroad or other uses identified for the
01 land; 02 (3) the department and the corporation shall cooperate to identify, on a 03 continuing basis and to the extent practicable, the potential crossings for economic 04 development and public access along the land reserved for the transportation corridor 05 and associated rail land; and 06 (4) while the land is reserved for the transportation corridor and 07 associated rail land under this subsection, the department may retain money received 08 from disposal or third-party use of the land. 09 (d) If the corporation notifies the Department of Natural Resources that the 10 corporation will begin construction of a railroad improvement on a segment of the 11 transportation corridor or associated rail land, then, as of the beginning of construction 12 of that segment, the department shall delegate authority to manage land within that 13 segment of the transportation corridor and associated rail land to the corporation, 14 including the authority to authorize or permit use of the land by third parties under the 15 provisions of this chapter and to retain all revenue received from third parties for the 16 use of the land, subject to 17 (1) valid existing rights; and 18 (2) the authority of the department to identify and reserve rights-of- 19 way for potential future crossings under (g) of this section. 20 (e) Upon completion of construction of the railroad improvement on all or a 21 portion of the reserved transportation corridor or associated rail land, 22 (1) the corporation shall, without cost to the Department of Natural 23 Resources, provide the department with a survey of the state land within a 200-foot 24 corridor, 100 feet on each side of the as-built centerline of track, and the associated 25 rail land; 26 (2) the Department of Natural Resources shall convey the state's entire 27 interest in the land within the boundaries of the survey to the corporation, subject to 28 valid existing rights, and reserving to the state (A) the interests required by 29 AS 38.05.125; and (B) the right of the department to identify and reserve rights-of- 30 way for potential future crossings under (g) of this section; the conveyance of land 31 under this paragraph shall be without cost to the corporation except for the direct
01 administrative costs of the department; 02 (3) the Department of Natural Resources shall assign any existing 03 contracts within that segment of the corridor and associated rail land to the 04 corporation; the corporation may thereafter retain the revenue from the conveyed land; 05 the department shall prorate revenue from contracts affecting both conveyed and 06 unconveyed land; 07 (4) the remaining state land in a segment of the transportation corridor 08 in which the corporation has received a conveyance under this section shall be 09 managed by the Department of Natural Resources as a transportation corridor unless 10 the department determines the land is no longer needed for that purpose; and 11 (5) the remaining segments of the transportation corridor in which the 12 corporation has not completed construction and any associated state land designated as 13 rail land shall continue to be managed by the Department of Natural Resources as a 14 transportation corridor and associated rail land under (c) and (d) of this section. 15 (f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, if a natural gas pipeline is 16 proposed for construction before the corporation begins construction of a railroad 17 improvement within a segment of the transportation corridor or associated rail land, 18 the Department of Natural Resources shall give the corporation notice and a 19 reasonable opportunity to delineate by survey a centerline for future railroad 20 construction. If the corporation provides a survey alignment to the department, the 21 department may not authorize construction of the natural gas pipeline within a 200- 22 foot-wide corridor centered on the survey alignment unless the department does not 23 find a feasible and prudent alternative for the route of the pipeline. The department 24 shall consult with the corporation before authorizing construction of a natural gas 25 pipeline in order to minimize effects on the potential rail route, regardless of whether a 26 centerline survey exists. 27 (g) In delegating management authority over or conveying all or a portion of 28 state land to the corporation, the Department of Natural Resources shall reserve the 29 right to authorize, by lease, permit, or other method, a person to cross or construct 30 access across the transportation corridor and associated rail land; however, before 31 authorizing a crossing or construction of access, the department shall obtain
01 concurrence from the corporation that the proposed crossing or construction is 02 consistent with applicable safety standards and, to the extent practical, minimizes 03 effects on railroad operating efficiency. Neither the corporation nor the state is liable 04 for claims arising from public use of the transportation corridor and associated rail 05 land, except to the extent the claims arise from the gross negligence of the state, the 06 corporation, their employees, or their contractors, respectively. The department shall 07 indemnify the corporation consistent with AS 42.40.420(1) - (3) for claims or related 08 litigation arising from an authorization issued by the department under this section, 09 except to the extent the claims arise from the gross negligence of the corporation, its 10 employees, or its contractors. 11 (h) The corporation shall, 12 (1) as the corporation considers appropriate, exercise its authority 13 under this chapter to acquire rights-of-way across land within the transportation 14 corridor and associated rail land that is subject to the corporation's power of eminent 15 domain; 16 (2) upon delineation of the transportation corridor and identification of 17 associated rail land, expeditiously work with federal officials to secure reclassification 18 and withdrawal of federal land for reservations and rights-of-way across the federal 19 land for use as transportation corridor and rail land; and 20 (3) before undertaking acquisition of federal land or expending federal 21 funds, prepare a report evaluating the effects of construction of an extension of the 22 Alaska Railroad across federal land; the statement must satisfy the requirements for an 23 environmental impact statement under 42 U.S.C. 4332. 24 (i) The requirements of AS 38.04.065 and 38.05.300, relating to classification 25 and reclassification of land, are inapplicable to actions taken by the Department of 26 Natural Resources under this section. 27 (j) The Department of Natural Resources shall retain the classifications and 28 reservations of land identified for use as a proposed utility corridor and railroad right- 29 of-way under former AS 19.05.122 until the corporation informs the department in 30 writing that the land is not needed by the corporation for a utility corridor. If, under 31 (a) of this section, the corporation includes land identified under former AS 19.05.122
01 as part of the proposed transportation corridor, the department shall manage that land 02 under provisions of this section. 03 (k) To complete the work authorized by this section, the corporation may enter 04 into agreements relating to the work with the federal government, an agency or 05 instrumentality of the state, a municipality, or a private organization. 06 Sec. 42.40.465. Extension of the Alaska Railroad to connect with the 07 North American railroad system. (a) The corporation may investigate extension of 08 the Alaska Railroad from the border of Alaska and Canada to connect with the North 09 American railroad system. The corporation may acquire land or interests in land in 10 Canada as the corporation considers appropriate for the development, construction, 11 and operation of an extension of the Alaska Railroad to connect with the North 12 American railroad system. 13 (b) In performing the work authorized by (a) of this section, the corporation 14 shall consider the following factors: 15 (1) safety; 16 (2) grade and alignment standards that are commensurate with rail and 17 utility construction standards and that minimize the prospect of at-grade railroad and 18 highway crossings; 19 (3) availability of construction materials; 20 (4) effects on and service to adjacent communities and potential 21 intermodal transportation connections; 22 (5) environmental concerns; 23 (6) use of public land to the maximum degree possible; 24 (7) minimization of probable construction costs; 25 (8) the location of and the opportunity to obtain access to identified 26 natural resources that could contribute significantly to the economic development of 27 the state and Canada; 28 (9) avoidance of possibly unstable ground due to thawing of frozen 29 soils; and 30 (10) prior and established traditional uses. 31 * Sec. 2. AS 19.05.122 is repealed.