Anchorage— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a Department of the Army permit to the Alaska Department of Transportation authorizing discharge of fill material into U.S. waters to construct the Juneau Access Improvements project.
The permit authorizes placing up to 1.7 million cubic yards of dredged and fill material into approximately 110 acres of waters, including forested wetlands, stream channels, deep water habitat, vegetated shallows, and navigable waters in conjunction with construction of a 50.8-mile long, two-lane highway.
The authorized route starts at the end of the Glacier Highway at Echo Cove and goes around Berners Bay and along the eastern coast of Lynn Canal to a point immediately north of the Katzehin River delta. Associated infrastructure includes roadway fill, roadway slope stabilization, channel work, marine roadway fill, marine rock disposal, ferry terminal, and ferry breakwaters.
The permit authorizes what is identified as Alternative 2B in the permit application, which was the state's preferred alternative. The Corps of Engineers issued the permit under its regulatory authority in Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. During the evaluation and public interest review, the corps considered a number of alternatives and considered the state's application of avoidance and minimization to reduce impact to aquatic resources, pursuant to these laws.