This November 21, 2015 shows the sign designating the unofficial border of Nikiski, Alaska. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Gasline project to announce Spur reroute June 20

Nikiski residents who’ve been waiting since 2015 to find out whether a proposed relocation of the Kenai Spur Highway will run on or near their land will find out June 20, when the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation makes public its selected route for moving the Kenai Spur Highway around the planned liquified natural gas export terminal in Nikiski.

The June 20 meeting at the North Peninsula Recreation Center will start with an open house at at 6 p.m and a presentation at 7 p.m, according to an email from AGDC Stakeholder Engagement Director Lisa Parker. Parker can be contacted for more information by phone at 907-330-6305 or by email at lparker@agdc.us.

Around 2015 the gasline project began considering 26 possible reroutes for the Spur Highway, whose existing path between roughly mile 19.5 and mile 21 passes through the approximately 900-acre footprint of the planned LNG plant. In January, AGDC — the state-owned corporation that has been leading the project since late 2016 — narrowed the possibilities to two: a “west alternative” that would branch from the existing highway around Mile 19 and pass inside Miller Loop Road, and an “east alternative” that would leave the existing highway around Mile 18 and run outside Miller Loop to the east.

After Nikiski residents commented on the two routes in a Feb. 12 meeting, AGDC Communications Manager Jesse Carlstrom said AGDC created a variant for each “taking into account community feedback, environmental impact mitigations, and cost considerations.” AGDC also began considering another possibility proposed by Nikiski resident Richard McGahan. Of these five possibilities, AGDC officials selected a route that will be subject to approval from AGDC’s seven-member board of directors before the company makes it public on June 20.

“The intent is to make the announcement to everybody all at once in person, and to let Nikiski residents know first,” Carlstrom said.

Following the route selection, Carlstrom said “the next step will be advance the Kenai Spur Highway project into the design phase once AGDC obtains funding.”

Reach Ben Boettger at bboettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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