Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/18/2009 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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01:41:34 PM Start
01:42:37 PM HB154
04:01:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
1:42:37 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 154                                                                                                            
     "An Act making supplemental appropriations and capital                                                                     
     appropriations; amending appropriations; and providing                                                                     
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
FRANK  RICHARDS,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER,   HIGHWAYS  &  PUBLIC                                                                   
FACILITIES,   DEPARTMENT   OF   TRANSPORTATION   AND   PUBLIC                                                                   
FACILITIES, presented  an overview of  HB 154.   He explained                                                                   
that HB 154 contains the federal  economic stimulus funds for                                                                   
transportation  assets.  The department  must  adhere to  the                                                                   
conditions contained  in the federal legislation  in order to                                                                   
receive   and   expend   the   funds.   The   bill   provides                                                                   
approximately  $175 million  for  highways,  $42 million  for                                                                   
transit, and $85 million for aviation purposes.                                                                                 
Mr. Richards  described the funding process.  Federal Highway                                                                   
and  Transit   funds  will  be   received  directly   to  the                                                                   
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities  (DOT)                                                                   
through the  usual formula funding  in accordance  with Title                                                                   
23. Aviation funds will be received  via the Federal Aviation                                                                   
Administration (FAA)  as discretionary allocations.  In order                                                                   
to  access  the formula  funds  the  project must  have  been                                                                   
developed under  Title 23 rules.  Fifty percent of  the funds                                                                   
must be obligated in 120 days  (June 15, 2009). The remaining                                                                   
funds  must be  used  by February  17,  2010.  Any funds  not                                                                   
obligated  will be swept  back and  redistributed to  another                                                                   
1:46:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Richards elaborated on the conditions for allocation of                                                                     
surface  transportation  funds.  Federal law  requires  three                                                                   
percent  of  the  funds  must   be  used  for  transportation                                                                   
Enhancement;  11 percent must  be distributed to  communities                                                                   
with a  population greater than  200,000, and 19  percent for                                                                   
communities with less than 5,000  residents. The remaining 67                                                                   
percent  of  the  funds  can be  used  for  any  state  road,                                                                   
highway,  or  bridge project  and  must  be included  in  the                                                                   
Statewide  Transportation  Improvement   Program  (STIP).  He                                                                   
emphasized   that  the  federal   legislation  mandates   the                                                                   
stimulus  funds   must  be  spent  on   previously  developed                                                                   
projects in accordance with the  federal rules under Title 23                                                                   
and  project  selection  must  adhere to  the  provisions  of                                                                   
federal   legislation.  The   department  selected   existing                                                                   
projects that  have been approved  by the legislature,  began                                                                   
design  work,  approved environmental  review,  and  acquired                                                                   
right-of-way  easements. The list  totals approximately  $330                                                                   
million on highways and bridge projects.                                                                                        
1:47:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Richards  explained  that  the  department  developed  a                                                                   
project  ranking  system  based   on  the  federal  criteria,                                                                   
project   safety,   and   location    in   areas   designated                                                                   
economically  distressed.  This  is defined  by  the  federal                                                                   
government as areas  that have at least a one  percent higher                                                                   
unemployment  rate than the  national average, presently  8.1                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Thomas   stated  that   he  represents   a  large                                                                   
population of  commercial fishers. Most are  not eligible for                                                                   
unemployment  benefits. He asked  if the department  factored                                                                   
this into  their criteria.   Mr. Richards  said he  relied on                                                                   
state  and  federal Department  of  Labor  statistics,  which                                                                   
defines all of  Alaska as economically distressed  except the                                                                   
North  Slope,   Anchorage,  Juneau,  Fairbanks,   Sitka,  and                                                                   
Ketchikan.  He  stressed  that federal  regulations  did  not                                                                   
prescribe a proportioned amount  of the stimulus funds to the                                                                   
economically distressed  areas, only that these  areas should                                                                   
be  "emphasized" so  the projects  can  stimulate and  create                                                                   
1:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Richards reported  that  "gas line  logistics"  projects                                                                   
were identified  as part of  the ranking criteria.  These are                                                                   
projects  that  would  support  gas  line  construction.  The                                                                   
department  also  identified projects  that  leveraged  other                                                                   
funds.  He exemplified  a causeway project  in Gustavus  that                                                                   
leveraged $6 million in National  Park Service Funds out of a                                                                   
total cost of  $20 million.  Finally, the project  must begin                                                                   
construction  in 2009.  He reasoned  that the  intent of  the                                                                   
federal legislation was to provide  jobs. This provision will                                                                   
support  that  intent.  The  department   then  compiled  the                                                                   
stimulus fund list of priority and contingency projects.                                                                        
1:51:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker asked  if  the  projects in  HB  154 had  to                                                                   
previously  been  included in  the  Statewide  Transportation                                                                   
Improvement Program  (STIP) or eligible for  future inclusion                                                                   
in  the STIP  to be  considered  for stimulus  funding.   Mr.                                                                   
Richards  clarified  that  he   misspoke  earlier.  The  bill                                                                   
contains the list  of projects that are in  the current STIP.                                                                   
The  department amended  the STIP  (STIP  Amendment 18)  last                                                                   
week  to  include  eligible  projects.   He  noted  that  any                                                                   
additional  projects appropriated  by  the legislature  would                                                                   
have to be included via the STIP  amendment process to access                                                                   
federal dollars.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  questioned  the purpose  for  the  document                                                                   
previously  generated  by the  department,  "Is Your  Surface                                                                   
Transportation   Project  Eligible   For  Economic   Stimulus                                                                   
Funding…" (copy on file).  Mr.  Richards answered that it was                                                                   
intended  to   help  legislators  determine   eligibility  of                                                                   
projects requested  by constituents.  The document  explained                                                                   
that proposed  projects would have  to meet the  criteria and                                                                   
timetable listed  as prioritization factors.  Co-Chair Hawker                                                                   
again  asked  if  the  project   would  become  eligible  for                                                                   
consideration if  it met the criteria  but was not  listed on                                                                   
the current  STIP.  Mr. Richards  said yes. He  conceded that                                                                   
the  project does  not have  to be  on the  current STIP.  He                                                                   
qualified  that  the project  would  become eligible  if  the                                                                   
legislature  includes  it  in  an  appropriations  bill.  The                                                                   
department would  have to go  through another  STIP amendment                                                                   
process  to access  the  stimulus funds  if  the project  was                                                                   
appropriated.    Co-Chair  Hawker   thought  it  was  a  very                                                                   
important distinction.                                                                                                          
1:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Richards  reported that the  "local" category  of funding                                                                   
proved  problematic for  the department.  The communities  of                                                                   
Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan,  Palmer, and Wasilla fall under                                                                   
the  19 percent  funding  category with  populations  between                                                                   
5,000  and  200,000.  They  are  not  eligible  for  stimulus                                                                   
funding  for any  project designated  as  "local roads".  Mr.                                                                   
Richards opined  that it was an unfortunate  consequence. The                                                                   
federal legislation  precluded an  exemption Alaska  had been                                                                   
granted  since  1991. The  Alaska  delegation  would have  to                                                                   
pursue a technical  correction via legislation.  That process                                                                   
would take  longer to obtain  than the timeframe  that exists                                                                   
to expend the stimulus funds.                                                                                                   
Mr.  Richards  delineated that  out  of  the $42  million  of                                                                   
stimulus funds for transit to  the state, $32 million will go                                                                   
directly   to  the  Anchorage   and  Fairbanks   Metropolitan                                                                   
Planning   Organizations.   Fairbanks  will   receive   $760,                                                                   
thousand of  the $32 million  and Anchorage will  receive the                                                                   
remaining   funds   for   distribution   to   the   Anchorage                                                                   
Metropolitan  Area  Transportation  Study  (AMATS).  A  large                                                                   
portion  [approximately $26  million] of  the AMATS  funds is                                                                   
committed to the  Alaska Railroad. He reminded  the committee                                                                   
that the distribution is mandated by formula funding.                                                                           
1:57:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara understood  that the Railroad has secured                                                                   
preferential  treatment by  Congress  for the  transportation                                                                   
stimulus funding.  He asked how  that happened.  He wondered,                                                                   
if the  legislature can go outside  of the STIP  process, can                                                                   
they also manipulate  the formula funding, if  by policy call                                                                   
it is determined that the formula is not practical.                                                                             
JAMES ARMSTRONG,  STAFF, CO-CHAIR STOLTZE,  briefly explained                                                                   
that  the Intermodal  Surface  Transportation Efficiency  Act                                                                   
(ISTEA, called  "Ice-Tea) provided  for federal transit  5307                                                                   
funds to flow directly into AMATS  Transportation Improvement                                                                   
Program  (TIP).  The distribution  of  the funds  is  greatly                                                                   
influenced by AMATS policy committee.                                                                                           
Representative Gara  described his understanding  that a very                                                                   
large portion  of non-road  transportation funding  for AMATS                                                                   
is  dedicated to  the  railroad by  formula.   Mr.  Armstrong                                                                   
concurred and  requested the committee  refer to a  letter by                                                                   
the  Alaska   Railroad  Corporation  (ARRC)   explaining  the                                                                   
stimulus funding process to the ARRC (copy on file).                                                                            
Representative  Gara felt that  allowing ARRC to  expend much                                                                   
of the transit fund might not  be in the best interest of the                                                                   
state if  the purpose  of the stimulus  money is  to maximize                                                                   
employment and  benefits to  communities. He suggested  there                                                                   
were other  community  needs that would  take precedent  over                                                                   
some of the  railroad's projects. Therefore, a  change in the                                                                   
formula would be warranted if possible.                                                                                         
Co-Chair Stoltze added that ARRC  representatives will attend                                                                   
a future hearing.                                                                                                               
2:00:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  disagreed   with  lobbying  efforts  in                                                                   
Washington  where one  state entity can  divert funding  away                                                                   
from  other  state  entities.  Co-Chair  Stoltz  agreed.  Mr.                                                                   
Richards clarified  that transit  funds go directly  to AMATS                                                                   
and do  not flow through  the state's appropriation  process.                                                                   
Mr. Armstrong  concurred and added  that the Federal  Transit                                                                   
Administration (FTA) must approve  the TIP funding that AMATS                                                                   
Representative  Gara  asked  if  the  state has  any  way  to                                                                   
control AMATS funds.  Mr. Armstrong  suggested that the AMATS                                                                   
policy   committee  request   by  letter   that  the   Alaska                                                                   
delegation change the process.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Stoltze  emphasized   that  Mr.  Armstrong  has  no                                                                   
current association with AMATS.                                                                                                 
2:03:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Richards  reported that  the  remaining  $9 million  for                                                                   
transit flows  through the department  and would be  used for                                                                   
replacement   vehicles,    transit   assets,    and   parking                                                                   
structures. He offered  to go through the projects  in HB 154                                                                   
individually  as  detailed  in the  spreadsheet  provided  by                                                                   
Office of Management and Budget (copy on file).                                                                                 
2:04:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  if the 19  page spreadsheet  only                                                                   
listed projects  in the  bill or  also projects eligible  for                                                                   
stimulus funds.                                                                                                                 
2:05:06 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY SLAGLE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC  FACILITIES, replied                                                                   
that all items  on the spreadsheet are projects  in the bill.                                                                   
She explained that some of the  projects that were previously                                                                   
appropriated  by the  legislature required  a funding  source                                                                   
switch  to the  economic  stimulus  funds. This  category  is                                                                   
reflected in Section 4 of HB 154.  The legislation contains a                                                                   
combination of projects. Some  of the projects do not require                                                                   
additional legislative authority,  but others require partial                                                                   
or  full approval  by  the  legislature  due to  fund  source                                                                   
Representative  Fairclough  asked   if  a  federal  match  is                                                                   
required for any DOT stimulus  projects.  Mr. Richards stated                                                                   
that the funding is 100 percent  for all highway aviation and                                                                   
transit funds subject to legislative approval.                                                                                  
2:07:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker referred  to  the governor's  press  release                                                                   
requesting  authorization for  $461 million  of DOT  stimulus                                                                   
funding.  He  voiced that  $300  million  was stated  by  Mr.                                                                   
Richards  as  the requested  amount.  Co-Chair  Hawker  asked                                                                   
which number is correct. Ms. Slagle  explained the difference                                                                   
between  new authority  and total  projects  is reflected  in                                                                   
Section 4 of  the bill. The difference includes  the projects                                                                   
requiring a fund  source change. This includes  $66.8 million                                                                   
for  aviation, and  $56 million  for surface  transportation.                                                                   
Co-Chair  Hawker  reiterated  his question  of  which  amount                                                                   
reflects  new stimulus  fund dollars.   Ms.  Slagle said  the                                                                   
larger  figure of  approximately  $400 million  is the  total                                                                   
amount of new funds included in the bill.                                                                                       
2:09:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE KLEIN, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  OF AVIATION, DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF  TRANSPORTATION  AND  PUBLIC   FACILITIES,  discussed  the                                                                   
department's   federal   economic   stimulus   projects   for                                                                   
SECTION 1                                                                                                                     
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Akiachak: Airport Relocation                                                                                               
     This project will relocate and construct a new Akiachak                                                                    
     Airport, 3,300 foot runway, new apron, taxiway and                                                                         
     airport  access road, construct  snow removal  equipment                                                                   
     buildings, and install fencing and airport lighting.                                                                       
Ms. Klein stated that the previous airport is located in a                                                                      
poor location and has incursion issues.                                                                                         
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Allakaket: Airport Improvements                                                                                            
     Repair and stabilize the  runway embankment, taxiway and                                                                   
     apron  to correct  areas that  have experienced  serious                                                                   
     differential   settlement,  side   slope  failures   and                                                                   
     erosion.   Work will include resurfacing,  addition of a                                                                   
     dust palliative and lighting  adjustments or replacement                                                                   
     as needed,  improve apron  setback from the  runway, and                                                                   
     make other improvements as funding allows. 3,600.0                                                                         
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Fairbanks   International    Airport:   Access   Control                                                                   
     This  project  is  the  result  of  a  Federal  Aviation                                                                   
     Administration   (FAA)  directive  to   identify  access                                                                   
     control measures to reduce  deviations and incursions at                                                                   
     Fairbanks  International Airport  (FAI), i.e.,  fencing,                                                                   
     gates,          and           improved          signage.                                                                   
     The Fairbanks International  Airport ranks among the top                                                                   
     20  of   400  certified   airports  in  incursions   and                                                                   
     deviations.  Every effort  will be made to implement the                                                                   
     least  costly and restrictive  measures that  accomplish                                                                   
     the  objective of  reducing  incursions and  deviations.                                                                   
Ms Klein noted this will enable the airport to comply with                                                                      
federal regulations regarding pedestrian deviations. This is                                                                    
a high FAA priority.                                                                                                            
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Fairbanks  International Airport:  1L-19R - Taxiway  and                                                                   
     Apron Improvements                                                                                                         
     This  request  will  fund construction  of  the  initial                                                                   
     phase  of Taxiway  Echo and  pave  aircraft apron  areas                                                                   
     proximal  to  runway  1L-19R.    The  initial  phase  of                                                                   
     Taxiway Echo  consists of excavating,  filling, grading,                                                                   
     paving, lighting, and marking  approximately 400' of new                                                                   
     taxiway. 3,000.0                                                                                                           
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Fort Yukon: Airport Improvements                                                                                           
     Resurface  and include a  dust palliative on  the apron,                                                                   
     taxiway and  runway at the Fort Yukon Airport.   Correct                                                                   
     drainage  problems,  clear   overgrown  vegetation,  and                                                                   
     complete other improvements as funding allows. 6,500.0                                                                     
Ms Klein  explained that this  airport is in  poor condition.                                                                   
It is 30 years old and has had  minimal repairs in that time.                                                                   
2:12:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  if  more airport  projects  could                                                                   
have  qualified other  than  what  is listed  in  HB 154.  He                                                                   
wondered how they  were chosen. Ms. Klein explained  that the                                                                   
FAA  has the  ultimate  authority  and discretion  to  decide                                                                   
which  projects are  funded. They  determine eligibility  and                                                                   
select  projects based  on rankings  by  the Airport  Project                                                                   
Evaluation Board (APEB) scores and other national scores.                                                                       
Representative  Gara asked if  the aviation projects  were in                                                                   
the  order  prioritized  by  the  FAA.  Ms.  Klein  said  the                                                                   
projects  were not  prioritized by  the FAA,  but all of  the                                                                   
projects selected  had to meet  federal criteria. All  of the                                                                   
aviation projects selected are included in the bill.                                                                            
2:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  if the state  can prioritize  the                                                                   
projects.  Ms.   Klein  responded  that  the   state  has  no                                                                   
discretion to prioritize or switch projects.                                                                                    
2:16:00 PM                                                                                                                    
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Hoonah: Airport Improvements                                                                                               
     Extend  airport  runway  to  state  standard  to  reduce                                                                   
     weight penalty on aircraft  serving Hoonah; expand lease                                                                   
     lots and  apron space to accommodate  additional general                                                                   
     aviation  and  commercial  traffic,  provide  additional                                                                   
     lease  lots  for  hangars  and  commercial  development;                                                                   
     provide dedicated  parking area for short  and long-term                                                                   
     passenger  parking;  construct  a  ramp to  allow  float                                                                   
     planes  to be hauled  out and serviced  or based  at the                                                                   
     airport; and other improvements.  100.0                                                                                    
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Kodiak: Chemical Storage Building                                                                                          
     This  project will  provide  a safe  storage and  mixing                                                                   
     area  for  liquid  de-icing   materials  and  equipment.                                                                   
     Without the  building and storage  tanks to mix  the dry                                                                   
     urea for liquid application,  the use of sand for runway                                                                   
     de-icing will  continue.  New Alaska Airlines  jets have                                                                   
     a  less-forgiving  engine  for sand  or  foreign  object                                                                   
     debris  ingestion which  could lead  to engine  failure.                                                                   
     The need  to switch  from sand  to chemical de-icing  at                                                                   
     Kodiak   is  further  underscored   by  Central   Region                                                                   
     Maintenance  and Operations'  inability  to obtain  sand                                                                   
     that meets the minimum specifications  identified by the                                                                   
     Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 1,200.0                                                                             
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Kotzebue: Apron Expansion                                                                                                  
     Expand the terminal  apron to the south and  east.  This                                                                   
     project  will   also  construct  new   general  aviation                                                                   
     aircraft  parking,  a  new   access  road  and  taxiway,                                                                   
     security  fencing and  drainage  improvements, and  will                                                                   
     provide new leasing areas. 5,300.0                                                                                         
Ms. Klein stated that this project responds to complaints by                                                                    
the aviation industry for expansion needs.                                                                                      
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Ouzinkie: Airport Reconstruction and Relocation                                                                            
     Project  will  entail the  final  design,  right of  way                                                                   
     acquisition,  and  construction  of  a new  airport  and                                                                   
     access  road for  the village of  Ouzinkie located  near                                                                   
     Kodiak. 8,400.0                                                                                                            
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation,                                                                                    
     Ted  Stevens  Anchorage   International  Airport:  North                                                                   
     Terminal Gate N8                                                                                                           
     Reconstruct   the  deteriorated  gate   apron  pavement,                                                                   
     including all  associated lighting, hydrant  system, jet                                                                   
     bridge   foundations,   drainage,   pavement,   subgrade                                                                   
     preparation,  etc.  Expand  the portland cement  area to                                                                   
     provide  better  support  for ground  service  equipment                                                                   
     during aircraft  servicing.   This project is  needed to                                                                   
     avoid  continued high  maintenance  costs and  potential                                                                   
     damage  to aircraft  from Foreign  Object Debris  (FOD).                                                                   
Ms Klein  noted that  the weight of  the aircrafts  cause the                                                                   
pavement to  crack over  time. She  also noted the  following                                                                   
projects were  recently added  by the FAA  due to  their high                                                                   
2:17:54 PM                                                                                                                    
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     King Salmon: Apron and Taxiway Resurfacing                                                                                 
     Resurface  the  terminal  and  transient  ("Fish  Haul")                                                                   
     aprons  at   King  Salmon  Airport,  and   also  several                                                                   
     taxiways,  whose  Pavement  Condition Indexes  are  well                                                                   
     within the "reconstruct" range.                                                                                            
     Airport Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Huslia: Airport Improvements                                                                                               
     Airport repairs and runway extension.                                                                                      
2:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze asked the amount of the previous                                                                               
appropriation for Hulisa Airport. Ms. Slagle answered that                                                                      
it was $7.525 million.                                                                                                          
2:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Richards turned to Transit projects.                                                                                        
     Transit Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Statewide:  Transit   Rural  Formula   Capital  Projects                                                                   
     This program provides federal  stimulus funding from the                                                                   
     Federal  Transit Administration  (FTA) for the  purchase                                                                   
     of vehicles  and equipment,  installation and  repair of                                                                   
     bus shelters/bus  stops and other capital  expenditures.                                                                   
     These funds  require no match and are available  to both                                                                   
     public   transit    systems   and   private    nonprofit                                                                   
     organizations through a grant process. 5,183.9                                                                             
Co-Chair Stoltze asked what is also included in this                                                                            
category. Mr. Richards replied that it included buses,                                                                          
commuter vans and para-transit.                                                                                                 
     Transit Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Juneau:    Downtown    Transit    Center    Construction                                                                   
     This  project  will  construct   a  combination  transit                                                                   
     center   and  parking  facility   in  downtown   Juneau.                                                                   
     This  investment in public  transportation will  benefit                                                                   
     economic  development   in  the  capital   city,  reduce                                                                   
     parking congestion,  and improve transportation  options                                                                   
     for those who  choose not to drive or  who cannot afford                                                                   
     a personal  vehicle.  Adequate public  transportation is                                                                   
     critical  for those making  the transition  from welfare                                                                   
     to work. 3,000.0                                                                                                           
     Transit Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                                     
     Mat-Su: Park and Ride at Seward Meridian/Parks Highway                                                                     
     Project  would   construct  a  parking  and   ride  area                                                                   
     somewhere  along  the  Parks  Highway near  or  east  of                                                                   
     Wasilla.   Possible locations include near  the southern                                                                   
     extension  of  Trunk  Road   and  near  Seward  Meridian                                                                   
     Parkway.  Approximately   10,000  people  commute  daily                                                                   
     between  the   Mat-Su  Valley  and  Anchorage   and  the                                                                   
     existing park and ride facilities  are consistently over                                                                   
     capacity.   Van-pool, carpool  and bus service  from the                                                                   
     valley is in  the process of being expanded  and parking                                                                   
     demands are increasing. 900.0                                                                                              
Mr.  Richards elaborated  that increasing  numbers of  people                                                                   
are commuting  from the  Mat-Su Valley  to Anchorage  and the                                                                   
park  and  ride  facilities  are   at  maximum  capacity  and                                                                   
2:21:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Richards introduced Highway and Bridge projects.                                                                            
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Dalton Highway Culverts: Milepost 260 to 321                                                                               
     This  project   replaces  existing  culverts   at  seven                                                                   
     locations  between   MP  260  and  321,   addresses  the                                                                   
     Oksrukuyik  Creek Bridge  and raises  the roadway  grade                                                                   
     between MP 311.7 and 313.3.                                                                                                
     This project  will preserve and extend the  service life                                                                   
     of  the  highway,  enhance highway  safety  and  provide                                                                   
     adequate  fish passage. Within  the project  area, seven                                                                   
     stream  crossings  have  culverts  that  are  undersized                                                                   
     and/or failing.  Failure of any of these  culverts could                                                                   
     lead   to  washouts   which   would  severely   diminish                                                                   
     transportation  capabilities along the Dalton.  There is                                                                   
     an approximately  2.1 mile stretch of road  (MP 311.7 to                                                                   
     313.9) that  is routinely  overtopped and threatened  by                                                                   
     floodplain overflow of the Sag River. 26,300.0                                                                             
Mr Richards stated the importance  of the project because the                                                                   
Dalton Highway  services the North  Slope oil fields  and its                                                                   
future service to the gas pipeline.                                                                                             
Co-Chair Stoltze  spoke of failing salmon stream  culverts in                                                                   
the Mat-Su  borough that affect  the Cook Inlet fishery.   He                                                                   
wondered  if DOT  has looked  at that  problem. Mr.  Richards                                                                   
referenced an  earmark for that  purpose. The  department, in                                                                   
collaboration with the Department  of Fish and Game, received                                                                   
funds to  rehabilitate  fish passage culverts  in the  entire                                                                   
state. He  elaborated that the  challenge with  these repairs                                                                   
is that  it requires ripping  up the  road. The work  must be                                                                   
done   in  conjunction   with   slated  road   rehabilitation                                                                   
projects.  The culverts  are being  identified,  prioritized,                                                                   
and repaired as the monies become available.                                                                                    
2:23:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  returned to the transit  projects for $9                                                                   
million and asked  if that was the full amount  allocated for                                                                   
those projects.  Mr. Richards affirmed.   Representative Gara                                                                   
asked for clarification  regarding the remaining  $32 million                                                                   
for  transit.  Mr. Richards  reported  that the  $32  million                                                                   
flows directly to AMATS.                                                                                                        
Representative  Fairclough  thought  it  was going  to  FMATS                                                                   
(Fairbanks  Metropolitan   Area  Transportation   Study)  and                                                                   
AMATS. Mr. Richards  qualified that he forgot  to include the                                                                   
$760,000 appropriated  to FMATS out  of the $32  million. Mr.                                                                   
Richards  reiterated  that out  of  $42 million  of  stimulus                                                                   
transit  funds $9.1  million is  a direct  allocation to  the                                                                   
state, approximately $32 million  is directly appropriated to                                                                   
Anchorage AMATS and $760,000 to Fairbanks FMATS.                                                                                
2:26:08 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Parks Highway: Milepost 72  to 83 Rehabilitation, Willow                                                                   
     to Kashwitna                                                                                                               
     Rehabilitate  the  Parks  Highway,  from  MP 72  to  83,                                                                   
     between  Willow  Creek  and  the  Kashwitna  River.  The                                                                   
     improvements  include widening  the  embankments for  8-                                                                   
     foot shoulders;  rehabilitate the pavement;  add a total                                                                   
     of  seven miles  of alternating  north  and south  bound                                                                   
     passing  lanes; and construct  paved roadside  pull outs                                                                   
     at Kashwitna Lake and Grey's Creek. 23,000.0                                                                               
Mr.  Richards  stated  that there  is  a  subsurface  problem                                                                   
associated with this section of road.                                                                                           
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Alaska Highway: Milepost 1412 to 1422                                                                                      
     Rehabilitate,  improve drainage, re-level  and resurface                                                                   
     the  highway.  Substandard  embankment  conditions  have                                                                   
     been  identified   in  this  area  causing   significant                                                                   
     pavement failures. This project  will improve the Alaska                                                                   
     highway   to   accommodate   increased   truck   traffic                                                                   
     associated with gas line construction. 5,300.0                                                                             
2:27:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Fairclough  shared that she went on  a tour of                                                                   
the Dalton Highway  and was informed that location  of gravel                                                                   
sites are a  problem for that corridor. She  asked if funding                                                                   
has been allocated to solve the  problem.  Mr. Richards spoke                                                                   
of a  conversation with the  Department of Natural  Resources                                                                   
to  define areas  for a  geotechnical  investigation to  find                                                                   
usable gravel  that does not  contain asbestos  particles. He                                                                   
also  spoke with  the  Denali Pipeline  Company  who is  also                                                                   
working to identify  gravel sources along the  Dalton Highway                                                                   
for  their project.  The department  is    currently  seeking                                                                   
information and funding for that project.                                                                                       
Representative Fairclough asked  if this expense was included                                                                   
in the Dalton  Highway stimulus projects and  what portion of                                                                   
the cost  is for  gravel for  these projects.   Mr.  Richards                                                                   
answered  that he did  not know.   Representative  Fairclough                                                                   
advised  that  it  might increase  project  costs  and  state                                                                   
funding might be required to complete these projects.                                                                           
2:30:16 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Glenn Highway: Hiland to Eklutna Resurfacing                                                                               
     Mill and  resurface mainline driving lanes  on the Glenn                                                                   
     Highway   from  the   Hiland   Interchange  to   Eklutna                                                                   
     Interchange.  Project will  also resurface all ramps and                                                                   
     bridges  encompassing  Hiland  Road and  Artillery  Road                                                                   
     Interchanges,   and  replace   guardrail  and   pavement                                                                   
     markings. 25,000.0                                                                                                         
Mr. Richards  noted that  the Glen  Highway has some  surface                                                                   
distress   and  rutting.   The  project   will  benefit   the                                                                   
commuters. Co-Chair  Stoltze commented that the  Glen Highway                                                                   
is   a   national   highway   connecting   Alaska's   largest                                                                   
municipality  (Anchorage)  to the  second  and third  largest                                                                   
municipalities in the state.                                                                                                    
Representative  Fairclough asked  if  there is  a gravel  pit                                                                   
source  identified  for  the  Glenn  Highway  project.    Mr.                                                                   
Richards  said  he  was  unaware   of  any.    Representative                                                                   
Fairclough  requested information  on the gravel  allocations                                                                   
the state  has claimed for the  NW corner, Section 25  of the                                                                   
Glen Highway Project.                                                                                                           
2:32:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  wondered  if the  legislature  has  any                                                                   
discretion  to  select  other qualified  highway  and  bridge                                                                   
projects and how  these were chosen.  Mr.  Richards explained                                                                   
that there  are two sections in  HB 154:  Highway  and Bridge                                                                   
Stimulus   Projects,   and  Highway   and   Bridge   Stimulus                                                                   
Contingency Projects.  These projects  were able to  meet the                                                                   
criteria  and  requirements for  stimulus  eligibility  under                                                                   
Title 23.  Communities can  identify other eligible  projects                                                                   
and DOT will  confer with the Federal  Highway Administration                                                                   
to determine  if they  can be  added to  the list. He  voiced                                                                   
that  from   the  department's  perspective  these   are  the                                                                   
projects available for stimulus funds.                                                                                          
Representative  Gara asked  if more funds  were available  if                                                                   
more projects are found. Mr. Richards  reported on the use it                                                                   
or  lose   it  clause   of  the   federal  legislation.   The                                                                   
contingency  list  was  provided   in  the  event  that  more                                                                   
stimulus money  is redistributed  to Alaska if  other state's                                                                   
falter.  Representative  Gara  summarized  his  understanding                                                                   
that $148 million of the stimulus  funds are appropriated for                                                                   
the  Highway and  Bridge Stimulus  projects. The  contingency                                                                   
projects listed  will only  be funded  if the state  receives                                                                   
additional stimulus money. Mr. Richards agreed.                                                                                 
2:37:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker  asked Mr.  Richards to  name for the  record                                                                   
any  other eligible  projects  he  is aware  of  that is  not                                                                   
included in HB  154. Mr. Richards responded that  he is aware                                                                   
of an eligible project in Whittier.                                                                                             
Representative  Gara requested  DOT provide  the committee  a                                                                   
list  of any  additional  eligible  projects  as they  become                                                                   
known to the department. Mr. Richards  added that the Port of                                                                   
Anchorage is  also eligible to  receive stimulus  funds under                                                                   
the bridge and highway category.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltz  asked if the  Port of Anchorage is  the only                                                                   
port in the  state eligible for stimulus funds.  Mr. Richards                                                                   
reported that any  port is eligible as long  as their project                                                                   
meets the same federal criteria.                                                                                                
2:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Kotzebue:  Shore   Avenue  Rehabilitation   and  Erosion                                                                   
     Reconstruct Shore  Avenue from Lake Street,  through the                                                                   
     primary  commercial  area   of  Kotzebue,  approximately                                                                   
     4,400  feet to  the end  of  the road  at Crowley  Dock.                                                                   
     Shore Avenue  will be paved,  new sidewalks,  a pathway,                                                                   
     parallel  parking, an  open space  on the seaward  side,                                                                   
     and  an erosion  protection  revetment  on the  seaside.                                                                   
     This request  includes $8.5 million of  Federal Receipts                                                                   
     and  $6.5 million  of Federal  Economic Stimulus  Funds.                                                                   
This project  requires additional  legislative authority  and                                                                   
is time sensitive.  Lead time is required to  order the steel                                                                   
sheet piles  and deliver it to  the barge lines  for delivery                                                                   
to Kotzebue in order for construction to begin this summer.                                                                     
Co-Chair  Stoltz asked  how the  project  could be  expedited                                                                   
quickly. Mr. Richards  specified two ways for  the project to                                                                   
proceed   on  time.   He  offered   that  swift   legislative                                                                   
appropriation or  requesting bids for the  project contingent                                                                   
on  legislative  approval are  the  solutions  to ensure  the                                                                   
project proceeds on time.                                                                                                       
2:44:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Joule asked how long the Kotzebue project was                                                                    
on the STIP. Mr. Richards answered that he did not know.                                                                        
     Highway  and  Bridge  Stimulus  Projects  -  Allocation,                                                                   
     Alaska Highway: Milepost 1308 - Tok Weigh Station                                                                          
     Reconstruct  the  Tok Weigh  Station  to include  multi-                                                                   
     platform  scales,  a  new  scale  house,  and  a  heated                                                                   
     inspection facility. The  current facility does not meet                                                                   
     the needs  of the vehicle  inspection crews on site.   A                                                                   
     new   weighing   system    is   needed   to   facilitate                                                                   
     simultaneous  axle group  and gross weight  enforcement.                                                                   
     The site  will be  expanded to  accommodate a  new scale                                                                   
     house.  This request  includes $1.0  million of  Federal                                                                   
     Receipts and  $3.0 million of Federal  Economic Stimulus                                                                   
     Funds. , 1,000.0 , 3,000.0 , 4,000.0                                                                                       
2:45:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  wondered  if there  was  another  weigh                                                                   
station  in the  area. Mr.  Richards answered  that the  next                                                                   
weigh station  was in  Fairbanks on  the Richardson  Highway.                                                                   
This  services trucks  entering  from Canada.  Representative                                                                   
Gara  wondered if  there  was another  one  near Canada.  Mr.                                                                   
Richards said there was not.                                                                                                    
2:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Yakutat: Areawide Paving                                                                                                   
     Resurface Airport Road from  approximately MP 0 to MP 4.                                                                   
     Extend   existing   Dangerous    River   Road   pavement                                                                   
     approximately 0.2  miles to access new  entrance to city                                                                   
     landfill.   Resurface  and  extend  existing Ocean  Cape                                                                   
     Road pavement along the segment  extending approximately                                                                   
     0.23  miles from  the  intersection  with Airport  Road.                                                                   
     Pave  and improve  drainage  on approximately  1.4  mile                                                                   
     long Max Italio Road.  Replace  two tidal relief culvers                                                                   
     and related work on Mallot Avenue. 3,800.0                                                                                 
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Haines: Front Street to Union Street                                                                                       
     Rebuild this  28'-wide section of road,  remove existing                                                                   
     asphalt,  grade  and  restore   existing  sub  grade  as                                                                   
     required,  and  place  new  surface  to  match  existing                                                                   
     finish grades.  Rebuilding this section of  roadway will                                                                   
     complete  reconstruction  of  the remaining  section  of                                                                   
     highway  from town to  the ferry terminal,  streamlining                                                                   
     access to  the ferry system  and other port  facilities.                                                                   
     Pedestrian  safety is vastly  improved, as  is transport                                                                   
     efficiency. 2,500.0                                                                                                        
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Glenn Highway: Milepost 34  to 42 - Parks Interchange to                                                                   
     Palmer Resurfacing                                                                                                         
     Mill and  resurface mainline driving lanes  on the Glenn                                                                   
     Highway   from  the  Parks   Highway  /  Glenn   Highway                                                                   
     Interchange to  the Palmer-Wasilla Highway  Intersection                                                                   
     in Palmer.                                                                                                                 
     This project  will provide  an improved driving  surface                                                                   
     and extend the service life  of the facility.  The route                                                                   
     has pavement  ruts ranging from  .25 inch to  1.5 inches                                                                   
     deep.   Guardrail is in  need of repair  or replacement,                                                                   
     and  guardrail  end terminals  need  to  be upgraded  to                                                                   
     current design standards. 8,000.0                                                                                          
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Nome Road Improvements                                                                                                     
     The community  has seen an  increase in vehicle  traffic                                                                   
     over  the  past  decade.  This increase  has  made  dust                                                                   
     mitigation  such  as paving  or chemical  treatments  on                                                                   
     local  roads a  significant issue.     The project  will                                                                   
     also  improve   drainage  on   city  streets   that  are                                                                   
     typically impacted  by permafrost and migration  of fine                                                                   
     soil  particles caused  by snowmelt  and seasonal  rain.                                                                   
     Improving drainage  is critical to the  effectiveness of                                                                   
     any dust-abatement  surface treatment.   Proper drainage                                                                   
     will  also prevent  potholing  and any  further loss  of                                                                   
     pavement  on the  few paved  streets  in the  community.                                                                   
2:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Emmonak: Community Road Improvements                                                                                       
     The  community roads  in Emmonak  lack proper  surfacing                                                                   
     material.   Due  to  the silty  soil  conditions in  the                                                                   
     area, the roads  are extremely dusty in  dry weather and                                                                   
     rutted in wet  weather.  The roads lack  proper drainage                                                                   
     structures   resulting  in   standing   water  in   many                                                                   
     locations  throughout  the community.    The dusty  road                                                                   
     conditions  are a serious  health issue  and need  to be                                                                   
     addressed.   Although  this  project  is jointly  funded                                                                   
     from federal  and state  sources, additional  funding is                                                                   
     needed  to successfully  complete  this  project and  to                                                                   
     significantly improve the  health and quality of life in                                                                   
     Emmonak. 3,000.0                                                                                                           
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Marshall:   Airport  Access   Road  Bridge   Replacement                                                                   
     Replace  the existing temporary  bridge on the  Marshall                                                                   
     Airport Access  Road.  The existing temporary  bridge is                                                                   
     inadequate   and  does  not   meet  the  needs   of  the                                                                   
     community.   It  was installed  as  a temporary  measure                                                                   
     several  years ago  to keep  the access  to the  airport                                                                   
     open.    This road  is  the  only vehicular  access  the                                                                   
     village has  to the airport.  Replacing  the bridge with                                                                   
     a safer more  durable structure would make  the delivery                                                                   
     of  passengers and  freight more  efficient and  improve                                                                   
     the overall safety for the traveling public. 2,800.0                                                                       
2:50:57 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Hoonah: Airport Road Paving  - Ferry Terminal to Airport                                                                   
     Grind and  repave Airport  Road from the  Ferry Terminal                                                                   
     (MP 0) to  the Airport (MP 2.2). The  degraded condition                                                                   
     of    Hoonah's   airport    road    has   resulted    in                                                                   
     controllability  issues, with extremely  poor conditions                                                                   
     in front  of the  post office.   Maintenance crews  have                                                                   
     had difficulty  staying on top of patching,  and freeze-                                                                   
     thaw cycles  regularly generate  new potholes  and other                                                                   
     degradations.  Rutting  is  extreme,  with ½  inch  ruts                                                                   
     along at least ½ the length of the road. 3,000.0                                                                           
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     AMATS: Stimulus Highway and Bridge Funded Projects                                                                         
     This funding  will be assigned  to specific  projects by                                                                   
     the  Metropolitan  Planning  Organization  (MPO)  policy                                                                   
     board,  as required  by  federal law.    Because of  the                                                                   
     rapid timeline  in developing  the Stimulus  bill, there                                                                   
     has  not   been  time   to  pre-identify  the   specific                                                                   
Mr. Richards apologized  for not having the  detailed list of                                                                   
AMATS  projects. He  stated he  was aware of  one project  on                                                                   
Minnesota Avenue  to repair  ruts. Co-Chair Stoltze  wondered                                                                   
if a specific portion of the Highway  and Bridge funding must                                                                   
be  spent on  bridges.  Mr. Richard  said  that the  stimulus                                                                   
dollars  received   were  not  specifically   prescribed  for                                                                   
Representative Fairclough asked  about a $310 million federal                                                                   
fund designated for Indian Reservation  Roads. She identified                                                                   
specifically the Eklutna Bridge  that is in desperate need of                                                                   
repair. The bridge falls under  AMATS jurisdiction and is not                                                                   
a priority  at this time. She  asked if this  historic bridge                                                                   
is  eligible for  repair  under  the reservation  funds.  Mr.                                                                   
Richards replied  that the  reservation dollars  flow through                                                                   
the  Bureau of  Indian Affairs  (BIA). He  elaborated on  the                                                                   
issue and suggested addressing  the Eklutna tribe directly to                                                                   
discuss their  priorities and  the allotment of  BIA dollars.                                                                   
He thought  that the  Eklutna tribe  will receive  additional                                                                   
stimulus money through the BIA.                                                                                                 
2:55:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Austerman asked  if the list of projects in HB
154 is  in order of priority.  Mr. Richards replied  that the                                                                   
governor prioritized  the list  according to how  the project                                                                   
met  the  federal  criteria  and  if  the  project  addressed                                                                   
infrastructure  that benefited  the construction  of the  gas                                                                   
pipeline. Representative Austerman  asked if the order in the                                                                   
bill is the order of priority. Mr. Richards said yes.                                                                           
2:58:43 PM                                                                                                                    
     Highway  and  Bridge  Stimulus  Projects  -  Allocation,                                                                   
     Valdez:  Areawide  Bike and  Pedestrian  Trail  Pavement                                                                   
     Repave the  bike path along the Richardson  Highway from                                                                   
     Egan  Drive to Robe  River Subdivision  (7 miles).   The                                                                   
     surface of  this bike path has deteriorated  and cracked                                                                   
     in many areas.  This path  is used for summer and winter                                                                   
     recreational   opportunities.     The   Blueberry   Lake                                                                   
     Campground  road is  used  to access  the popular  state                                                                   
     recreation  site at Blueberry  Lake.  The  existing road                                                                   
     is   narrow,  potholed   with  no   surfacing.     These                                                                   
     improvements  will provide  better access to  campsites,                                                                   
     fishing and trails. 3,290.0                                                                                                
     Highway and Bridge Stimulus Projects - Allocation                                                                          
     Denali Highway: Milepost 7 Wayside                                                                                         
     Provide  wayside parking  and traveler information  near                                                                   
     the east  end of the  Denali Highway.  Includes  parking                                                                   
     for   RVs  and   automobiles.     Enhancements   include                                                                   
     interpretive  signs  along  the  viewing  area,  vaulted                                                                   
     toilets  and  trash  receptacles.    The  Department  of                                                                   
     Transportation   and  Public  Facilities   will  perform                                                                   
     maintenance  of the pavement  surface and the  Bureau of                                                                   
     Land   Management  will   perform  maintenance   of  the                                                                   
     enhancements. 330.0                                                                                                        
Mr. Richards concluded  that he addressed the  entire list of                                                                   
stimulus  fund  projects  in HB  154.  He  invited  questions                                                                   
concerning the contingency list.                                                                                                
3:00:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze asked  Mr. Richards to list the  next set of                                                                   
items by priority.  He wondered how speculative  or likely it                                                                   
was that additional funds will become available.                                                                                
Representative  Thomas asked for  the status of  the Gustavus                                                                   
Dock Replacement  project. Ms.  Slagle responded that  it was                                                                   
in  Section  4  of  the  bill.  The  project  was  previously                                                                   
approved  by   the  legislature.   The  department   is  only                                                                   
requesting a fund  source change of $7.7 million  for part of                                                                   
the total cost.                                                                                                                 
3:03:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Richards continued that the  same criteria and priorities                                                                   
were  used  to rank  the  contingency  list and  claimed  the                                                                   
projects were listed in priority order.                                                                                         
Co-Chair Stoltze asked if there  was a reasonable expectation                                                                   
of receiving  new money or is  the contingency list  there in                                                                   
case  an original  project  becomes ineligible.  He  wondered                                                                   
what a more  likely scenario is. Mr. Richards  contended that                                                                   
it will  be both. He felt  that additional money  will likely                                                                   
become  available  as  a redistribution  but  the  amount  is                                                                   
unknown.  He expressed  concerns that  some impediment  might                                                                   
surface to  cause an  original project to  slip off  the list                                                                   
and be replaced by a contingency project.                                                                                       
Representative Fairclough  wondered if the Port  of Anchorage                                                                   
qualified  for the  contingency list  projects. Mr.  Richards                                                                   
replied that  it qualifies  under the surface  transportation                                                                   
category  as long  as the projects  meet Title  23 and  other                                                                   
stated criteria.  Representative Fairclough opined  that Port                                                                   
of  Anchorage projects  are being  penalized  for the  port's                                                                   
Anchorage location. She felt the  contingency funds should be                                                                   
used for the port as it benefits the entire state.                                                                              
3:06:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Richards reminded  the committee that the  projects in HB
154 have previously  been in the STIP. The  Port of Anchorage                                                                   
is available to receive STIP stimulus  fund through the AMATS                                                                   
TIP  and those  TIP projects  are not  listed separately.  He                                                                   
said the  legislature can authorize  a specific  port project                                                                   
if it  meets  the eligibility  requirements.   Representative                                                                   
Fairclough believed  that port projects should  be a priority                                                                   
for the  contingency funds.  She felt  it should not  replace                                                                   
original  stimulus  projects  but should  be  prioritized  if                                                                   
additional  funds  are  captured.  She  felt  that  the  port                                                                   
benefits  the  entire  state   at  large.  She  suggested  an                                                                   
appropriation of $20 million.                                                                                                   
Representative  Austerman  asked about  the  priority of  the                                                                   
Richardson Highway contingency  project. Mr. Richards said it                                                                   
was on the STIP and is the top contingency project.                                                                             
3:09:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Austerman  observed  that some  projects  had                                                                   
been removed  or moved from  contingency to priority  or vice                                                                   
versa  during the  legislative  process. He  wondered if  the                                                                   
projects listed in Section 4,  requesting fund source changes                                                                   
from  federal  receipts  to  stimulus   funds,  affected  the                                                                   
changes in the project list. Mr.  Richards replied that there                                                                   
had been challenges tracking the  bill as it traveled through                                                                   
the legislature.  He  said that the  final version  contained                                                                   
fewer projects  because of the constriction in  the timeline.                                                                   
The original timeline, which called  for expenditure of fifty                                                                   
percent  of the  funds  in 90  days with  18  months for  the                                                                   
remainder, was  reduced to expenditure  in 120 days  with the                                                                   
remainder used  within one year.  He explained that  based on                                                                   
the  final  version  of  the  bill  some  projects  had  lost                                                                   
eligibility  and the  priority  of contingency  projects  had                                                                   
3:11:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Austerman  felt  his question  had  not  been                                                                   
answered.  He wondered  if  the shift  of  project lists  was                                                                   
affected by  inclusion of the  language section of  the bill.                                                                   
Specifically he  wondered if the  fund source  changes pulled                                                                   
original projects off the list.  Ms. Slagle believed that the                                                                   
fund source  change section  had been  considered along  with                                                                   
the original and contingency list  through the entire process                                                                   
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
3:13:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  wondered about ports. He  asked if there                                                                   
were other funds  that the port was eligible  for through the                                                                   
stimulus  package.   Mr.  Richards   stated  that   the  U.S.                                                                   
Department of  Transportation is establishing a  $1.5 billion                                                                   
discretionary fund that both highways  and ports are eligible                                                                   
for by  application. Projects  must be  nominated and  ranked                                                                   
for  distribution   of  these   funds.  Representative   Gara                                                                   
emphasized that  although the Port of Anchorage  does benefit                                                                   
the entire  state and  is a  great Alaskan  asset he  did not                                                                   
feel that  the port should be  a top priority over  all other                                                                   
contingency  projects in  the state.  The port has  requested                                                                   
$170 million  for expansion.  He relayed that  Representative                                                                   
Young  said he  will  get the  port the  money  it needs  for                                                                   
expansion.   He  cautioned  that   an  additional   arbitrary                                                                   
appropriation of  $20 million should be justified  by what it                                                                   
will accomplish for the port as  opposed to pressing needs in                                                                   
other parts of the state.                                                                                                       
3:16:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara referred to  the Kodiak Rocket Launch. He                                                                   
understood that  the Governor  proposed using stimulus  funds                                                                   
for the rocket  launch and asked if it is appropriated  in HB
154.  Mr.  Richards  responded   that  the  facility  is  not                                                                   
utilizing  surface transportation  funds  and is  not in  the                                                                   
Representative   Gara  asked   about  the  last   contingency                                                                   
project,  Bike Trail  Pavement Refurbishment  project on  the                                                                   
Glen  Highway, Eagle  River to  Birchwood. He  asked if  this                                                                   
project  could  encompass  connecting   Eagle  River  to  the                                                                   
Coastal Trail.  Mr. Richards reported that the  Glenn Highway                                                                   
portion  is   currently  available   to  meet  the   mandated                                                                   
timeline. It  would take  longer to qualify  the rest  of the                                                                   
project. Representative  Gara  thought that the  Municipality                                                                   
of Anchorage  identified  a trail project  around Ship  Creek                                                                   
that was ready.  Mr. Richards  stated he was not aware of it.                                                                   
Co-Chair  Stoltze  asked  if there  are  any  eminent  domain                                                                   
issues  surrounding the  section of trail.  Mr. Richards  did                                                                   
not know of any.                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough questioned Anchorage's  allocation                                                                   
out  of the  $175  million  of  Highway funds.  Mr.  Richards                                                                   
replied  that for  the Highway  and  Bridge allocation  AMATS                                                                   
received $18.9  million. Anchorage will be eligible  for some                                                                   
of the  Transit project funding  of $5.2 million for  a total                                                                   
of approximately  $20 million. He questioned  whether the $25                                                                   
million Glenn Highway Rut Repair  project could be counted as                                                                   
an  Anchorage project.  The funding  for  this project  flows                                                                   
through    the   Anchorage    MPO   (Metropolitan    Planning                                                                   
Organization).  Representative  Fairclough  pointed out  that                                                                   
Anchorage  represents  only a  portion  of the  Glen  Highway                                                                   
project. She  stressed that $20  million for Anchorage  was a                                                                   
small  amount   and  additional  funding  for   the  port  of                                                                   
Anchorage  was not  unreasonable. She  stressed the  benefits                                                                   
that the Port  provides to the entire state.  She argued that                                                                   
area wide use of the Port of Anchorage  should not rank lower                                                                   
than some of the other projects prioritized by the state.                                                                       
3:22:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Thomas understood that  the stimulus projects were                                                                   
formerly appropriated  to individual  legislators as  capital                                                                   
projects  and allocations  throughout the  years. He  pointed                                                                   
out that the  Gustavus project was approved  and appropriated                                                                   
four  years ago.  The Hoonah,  Yakutat,  and Haines  projects                                                                   
were on  the STIP  plan for years.  He determined  that rural                                                                   
areas  have  paid  politically  for  these  projects  already                                                                   
because they  were previously  appropriated but never  built.                                                                   
He contended that rural area projects are not a priority.                                                                       
3:24:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker argued  that  what is  unacceptable is  that                                                                   
approximately  $37 million  of the projects  on the  stimulus                                                                   
list  as  fund  source changes  are  projects  that  previous                                                                   
legislatures  committed full  funding to.  He believed  these                                                                   
projects should  not be  used for  stimulus funding.  The $37                                                                   
million could be spent on the  contingency list projects. The                                                                   
projects  were  fully committed  in  the past.  The  stimulus                                                                   
money should be used to go forward  with new projects such as                                                                   
the Whittier project.                                                                                                           
3:27:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Slagle explained  that  three projects  out  of the  $37                                                                   
million  in   fund  source   changes  have  previously   been                                                                   
appropriated:  Dalton Highway,  Denali Highway, and  Gustavus                                                                   
Causeway.  It   is  not  unusual  for  projects   to  receive                                                                   
legislative authority and funding  and yet not go forward for                                                                   
a  number of  reasons.  The delays  could  be  due to  design                                                                   
problems,  environmental permits,  right-of-way issues,  etc.                                                                   
The three projects were previously  appropriated with federal                                                                   
receipts. They are just now ready to move forward.                                                                              
3:28:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker  thought  that   was  a  weak  argument.  He                                                                   
questioned whether there was any  intention by the department                                                                   
to  complete those  projects.  He  wondered how  the  federal                                                                   
money  could   fall  short  of  fully  approved   and  funded                                                                   
projects.  Mr.  Richards  reported   that  the  challenge  is                                                                   
relying on the Federal Highway  Administration funding stream                                                                   
to complete those  projects. Insufficient funding  is often a                                                                   
reflection of  unfunded earmarks or recisions  by the federal                                                                   
government.  The challenge  is  to have  the federal  funding                                                                   
match the legislative authority.                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker   argued  that  the  legislature   has  been                                                                   
providing  DOT   authority  to  spend  federal   receipts  to                                                                   
construct state  assets for fifty years. The  legislature and                                                                   
the public  believed there  were funds  available to  back up                                                                   
the  appropriations. He  wondered  how much  empty  authority                                                                   
existed  and  how  much  unfulfilled  public  expectation  is                                                                   
created. Mr.  Richards explained  that even if  a community's                                                                   
project  has been  identified in  the STIP  and has  received                                                                   
legislative  authority other  variables must  be factored  in                                                                   
before   construction   can   begin.  The   high   costs   of                                                                   
construction  and fuel  has  lead to  project  bids that  are                                                                   
prohibitively higher  than estimated. The department  has not                                                                   
been  able to  do as  many projects  and capture  all of  the                                                                   
funds.  Expectations were not able to be met.                                                                                   
3:33:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker  asked how far  over-authorized the  state is                                                                   
based on actual  availability of federal funds.  Mr. Richards                                                                   
shared his  concern and related  that DOT does not  know what                                                                   
Congress  will do  with the highway  bill in  the future.  He                                                                   
speculated that Congress might  direct highway transportation                                                                   
money to  address global  warming. If  the Economic  Stimulus                                                                   
bill  is any  indication, the  transportation funding  stream                                                                   
will be  directed to  high speed rail,  inner city  rail, and                                                                   
other types  of transit systems.  Funds from federal  highway                                                                   
dollars  will be  going to  transit projects  and that  draws                                                                   
funds away from rural states to urban areas.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker reiterated  his request to know  how far over                                                                   
extended the state is now.                                                                                                      
3:36:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Slagle  offered  to provide  information  on  authorized                                                                   
projects not currently backed by federal dollars.                                                                               
Representative  Austerman  summarized that  there  is a  STIP                                                                   
list and an authorized list and  the projects are built based                                                                   
on federal funding available.  Ms. Slagle agreed.                                                                               
3:38:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker restated his point.  He wanted information on                                                                   
how far  overextended  the state is  on authorized  projects.                                                                   
Ms. Slagle added that her staff  looks at authorizations that                                                                   
are more  than ten years  old on an  annual basis.  A typical                                                                   
highway project lasts  for eight to ten years.  Over the last                                                                   
four years  DOT has  worked to  eliminate approximately  $200                                                                   
million in empty authority.                                                                                                     
Representative  Gara stated he  was uncomfortable  about each                                                                   
district  competing for  federal dollars.  He thought  it was                                                                   
understandable that  Anchorage would not receive  a favorable                                                                   
portion  of  the  stimulus  money   considering  the  federal                                                                   
criteria  that  stimulus  money   be  expended  in  areas  of                                                                   
economic  distress. He  reasoned that  the state must  follow                                                                   
federal criteria  and serve economically distressed  areas or                                                                   
risk losing the  funding. He wondered if the  Governor had to                                                                   
certify that  the projects chosen  met the federal  criteria.                                                                   
Mr.  Richards  clarified  that  the  Governor  does  have  to                                                                   
certify the projects.  He added that Representative  Gara was                                                                   
correct  that Congress  placed  an emphasis  on  economically                                                                   
stressed areas, but  there is no stipulation as  to how much.                                                                   
The list  proposed by the Governor  spends 67 percent  of the                                                                   
stimulus funds in economically distressed areas.                                                                                
3:41:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  stressed  that  he does  not  want  any                                                                   
stimulus  money to  go to  projects that  have been  approved                                                                   
with general fund  money. He asked if the fund  source change                                                                   
projects included  swapping general fund for  stimulus money.                                                                   
Ms. Slagle  replied that they  are not replacing  any general                                                                   
fund projects with federal stimulus  funds.  The governor had                                                                   
to  certify that  stimulus  funds  would not  supplant  state                                                                   
funds.  The projects  in  Section 4  are  projects funded  by                                                                   
federal    receipt.    Representative   Gara    stated    his                                                                   
understanding  that   the  funding  change   projects  lacked                                                                   
adequate  federal  funds  to   move  forward.  He  asked  for                                                                   
clarification.   Ms.   Slagle   stated  that   was   correct.                                                                   
Representative Gara  stated support for the  department's use                                                                   
of stimulus money to finish underfunded projects.                                                                               
Representative  Crawford asked  why  the previously  approved                                                                   
projects  did  not  receive enough  federal  money.  He  also                                                                   
wondered if DOT can shift federal  funding to other projects.                                                                   
Mr. Richards  explained that  some projects  are not  able to                                                                   
proceed  due to a  variety of  reasons: right-of-way  issues,                                                                   
environmental  permitting process,  etc.  Allocations can  be                                                                   
transferred to another  project within a program  in order to                                                                   
capture those funds for that particular year.                                                                                   
Representative  Crawford asked  if DOT  has the authority  to                                                                   
prioritize and  shift federal funding away from  one approved                                                                   
project  to another  project.   Mr.  Richards explained  that                                                                   
there  is flexibility  to  shift  funding under  the  program                                                                   
allocation  unless  the  highway  funds  are  received  as  a                                                                   
congressional  earmark to  be  used for  a specific  project.                                                                   
Highway funds  come to the  state based on program  formulas.                                                                   
Every  program under  the highway  fund  umbrella receives  a                                                                   
broad  allocation.  The  Department   of  Transportation  and                                                                   
Public  Facilities has  the  legislative  authority under  an                                                                   
appropriation to shift funds.  If one project is advanced and                                                                   
needs  additional money,  another project  may be  held as  a                                                                   
result. It allows for efficient  use of funds. Representative                                                                   
Crawford  asked   what  priority   the  projects   that  were                                                                   
overlooked  receive. Mr.  Richards  emphasized that  projects                                                                   
remain  in line,  nothing  overrides  or replaces  them.  The                                                                   
legislative  authority remains  for the  next year's  funding                                                                   
3:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Crawford  asked if there was  always a backlog                                                                   
of  projects.   Ms.  Slagle said  yes.   She  added that  the                                                                   
project's legislative authority remains in tact.                                                                                
3:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Fairclough  requested   that  the   Port  of                                                                   
Anchorage be put at the bottom  of the list. She did not have                                                                   
knowledge  of  Congressman Young's  pledge  of  funds to  the                                                                   
port.  She stated  she did not  want to  displace funds  from                                                                   
other projects if the Port has the funding it needs.                                                                            
3:55:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Joule asked if  there were other  communities                                                                   
with projects besides Kotzebue  that are time sensitive.  Mr.                                                                   
Richards reported  that the projects  in Western  Alaska have                                                                   
long lead times  in terms of getting equipment  and materials                                                                   
to the  project site. He  observed that the airport  projects                                                                   
in Akiachak, Allakaket, and Huslia are time sensitive.                                                                          
Co-Chair  Stoltze  requested  a  separate list  of  the  time                                                                   
sensitive projects.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair  Hawker spoke  to the general  fund consequences  of                                                                   
the  fund source  changes. He  maintained  that the  required                                                                   
general  fund matches  were "scooped up"  by the  department.                                                                   
Ms. Slagle countered that general  funds are not appropriated                                                                   
to match  by project; they are  matched by program.  Money is                                                                   
not tied to specific projects.  Co-Chair Hawker asserted that                                                                   
there is an implicit general fund  connection to each project                                                                   
because of  the match requirement.  Each project must  have a                                                                   
match so  there is  an implicit  consequence with every  fund                                                                   
source  change. Ms. Slagle  pointed out  that the  department                                                                   
has  done  a   good  job  in  meeting  the   obligated  match                                                                   
requirements  to  capture all  of  the  federal funds  on  an                                                                   
annual basis.                                                                                                                   
3:59:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Austerman asked  if projects requiring a state                                                                   
match were rated higher. Ms. Slagle  reiterated that no state                                                                   
match  is required  for any  of the  stimulus fund  projects.                                                                   
Nothing  in the  criteria  requires  state funding,  but  the                                                                   
criteria prioritized  a project where leveraging  other funds                                                                   
was possible.                                                                                                                   
4:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara asked if the  fund source change projects                                                                   
are now being funded with one  hundred percent federal funds.                                                                   
Ms. Slagle said yes.                                                                                                            
House Bill  154 was heard and  HELD in Committee  for further                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
2 27 2009 Aviation E Stimulus.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
2 27 2009 Aviation Stimulus Map.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
Economic Stimulus Bill DOT Projects 2-24-09.xls HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
Economic Stim Fund Source Change DOT 2-20-09.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
DOTPF Project Ready for Stimulus.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
DOT response 2 20 09.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
DOT Hwy and Bridge Revised 2-24.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
DOT Aviation Revised 2-24.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
2009-02-24 Co-Chairs Letter.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
Economic Stimulus Bill DOT Projects 2-27-09.xls HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
ARRC Stimulus Letter 3-18-09.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
ARRA DOT.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
Stimulus project lists 2 22 09.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154
US DOT Letter.pdf HFIN 3/18/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 154