Legislative representatives on the Kenai Peninsula penned a letter to the Alaska Department of Transportation back in September pushing for adequate winter service on the Seward and Sterling Highways.
The letter signed by Senator Peter Micciche, Senator Gary Stevens, as well as Representatives Ben Carpenter, Gary Knopp and Sarah Vance.
DOT announced in early September the closure of the Silver Tip Maintenance Station, located at the junction of the Seward and Hope highways.
Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen): “I do not support the closure of the Silver Tip station, and I’ve made that obvious. I crafted a letter, it was signed by all Kenai Peninsula legislators, asking questions of the department asking if they adequately accessed what that closure means.”
The cuts were triggered by lower than expected revenue from the Motor Fuel Tax, which is used to support the department’s maintenance workers and stations. Five operator positions were cut from DOT Central Region in addition to the camp closure.
The closure of the camp and reduced number of heavy equipment operators will have an impact on the hours of snow and ice removal through Turnagain Pass, as well. Instead of two 10-hour shifts, Crown Point and Girdwood will cover the Silver Tip region from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Senator Micciche: “Consider emailing the Governor’s office at [email protected] (or call 269-7450) and Commissioner MacKinnon at [email protected] (or call 465-3900). Feel free to borrow thoughts from the letter attached.”
Photos and media provided by Senator Micciche and DOT