The Kake Access project was initiated by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) to expand public access from Kake, Alaska, a town of approximately 550 residents located on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island and adjacent to the Tebenkof Bay wilderness. Kake is currently accessible by plane, boat or mainline ferry. The nearest community is the City of Petersburg, 38 flying miles away. Opening up additional public access, by new road or enhanced ferry service, would improve regional connectivity in Southeast Alaska and provide Kake residents with more efficient access to services in larger communities. The Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and ADOT&PF have initiated an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project. This EIS is separate from the Kake to Petersburg Transmission Intertie EIS which is also in progress. However, the two projects will be coordinated.
The Kake Access project is consistent with the ADOT&PF’s Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan, and was added to the State Transportation Improvement Program. Preliminary alternatives include roads, shuttle ferries, and improved mainline ferry service that would connect Kake with Petersburg, Ketchikan, or Wrangell. In 2012, the Alaska State Legislature appropriated $40 million in state funds to construct a new road between Kake and Petersburg.
The FHWA is supporting ADOT&PF by conducting the environmental review process in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) . Regulations implementing NEPA require that the potential environmental impacts of a project and the reasonable alternatives, including a No Action alternative, are considered in an environmental document. Because of the potential for significant impacts to result from the Kake Access project, FHWA is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Although the Alaska State Legislature has appropriated funds for a road between Kake and Petersburg, the Kake Access EIS will evaluate alternative modes and routes for improving access between Kake and communities that can provide the commercial, medical, and regional transportation services.
FHWA is supporting ADOT&PF as the lead federal agency for the project. The ADOT&PF is the joint lead agency. Other federal, state and local agencies, including tribal interests, may be cooperating or participating agencies. A Kake Access EIS Coordination Plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of the agencies involved in this study.
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Western Federal Lands Highway Division
610 East Fifth Street
Vancouver, WA 98661-3801
DOT&PF Southeast Region
6860 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99801-7999