Alaska’s Knik Arm bridge project has run into hurdles in the Legislature over $150 million of early funding for the controversial public-private toll crossing.
Members of the Senate Finance Committee raised concerns about the bridge’s financing and its traffic and population projections, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
On Monday, the committee considered SB 80, which passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee more than a year ago. The bill is still being held in committee.
The newspaper said separate bills that would appropriate money for a bridge fund to backstop tolls are stalled.
The Knik Arm Bridge Authority, formed in 2003 by the Legislature to run the project, has asked the state for money to help cover costs if tolls fall short when the project opens.
The bridge and causeway would link central Anchorage with the Port MacKenzie area of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, across the two-mile-wide ocean inlet called the Knik Arm.
The project includes an 8,200-foot bridge and an 800-foot tunnel near the Anchorage end.
KABA overcame an earlier lawsuit in 2009 filed by the region’s federally designated metro planning organization, Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions, over the impact of the project on the city’s neighborhoods and traffic.
It also had to overcome concerns about the endangered beluga whale habitat in the Cook Inlet.