State, federal officials hail action on Alaska road project

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker addresses reporters during a news conference on efforts to advance a road project decades in the making Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska. Marc Luiken, left, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, is also shown. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

JUNEAU, Alaska - State and federal officials have signed an environmental review for an Alaska road project decades in the making.

Wednesday's signing was hailed as a milestone for the project, which Gov. Bill Walker's office says will allow the state to address longstanding safety issues on a stretch of the Sterling Highway.

The often-congested scenic highway is used by locals and tourists to reach popular fishing and recreation areas on the Kenai Peninsula.

Public comment will be taken on the environmental review. After comments are analyzed, officials plan to formalize their decision.

The state says the project has been difficult due to its proximity to wildlife and recreation areas and historic and cultural sites. Steep terrain and limited right-of-way also presented challenges.

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