West Susitna Access


Current Status

May 2022 | AIDEA has submitted the CWA 404 permit application to the USACE for the West Susitna Access project, initiating the environmental review process through compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Field studies will begin this summer with further evaluation of cultural and historical sites, fish and wildlife habitat, engineering refinement, and alternative route analysis.

March 2022 | The final stages of predevelopment and permitting have started and a submission of a CWA 404 permit application to the USACE is expected in April 2022. There will continue to be ongoing opportunities for public engagement while field work continues this summer to conduct additional baseline environmental studies on cultural and historical resources, fish, wildlife, hydrology, and wetlands.

October 2021 | AIDEA will be receiving $8.5 million of appropriated funds from the 32nd State Legislature, under HB 69, to advance pre-development work on the West Susitna Access Road in October 2021. Next steps will be to competitively procure a third-party contractor to assist AIDEA with advancing pre-development work, file an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and begin an environmental impact analysis through the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). AIDEA anticipates to have a third party under contract in late December 2021 to assist in this process.

Project Benefits

The anticipated benefits of this project west of the Susitna River include the delivery of many new opportunities for Alaskans. The state’s economy will enjoy growth and jobs from the extraction of minerals, oil and gas development, agricultural production, harvest of timber resources, harnessing of alternative energy, and recreation access.

  • Mining: Gold, silver, copper, strategic metals
  • Agricultural: 65,000 acres
  • Forest/Timber: 701,000 acres
  • Oil & Gas: Known proven reserves
  • Recreation: 6 million acres

* The stars represent hard-rock and gold placer mining activities.


  • In 2019 AIDEA and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provided a partnership framework for a phased feasibility analysis of the West Susitna Access.
  • Today AIDEA and MSB, along with Alaska Operations LLC, are the initial public and private partners in Phase 2 of the West Susitna Access Project. Other private entities may participate in future development efforts.
  • The project will touch on land use planning. Alaska’s Legislature directed land use plans are required for the utilization of state-owned land. Alaska Statute 38.04.065: (a) Except as provided in (d) and (h) of this section, the commissioner shall, with local governmental and public involvement under AS 38.05.945, adopt, maintain, and, when appropriate, revise regional land use plans that provide for the use and management of state-owned land.
  • The process under which this project will go forward assures meaningful participation in the planning for access and road development. Local governments, state and federal agencies, area land owners and the public will be involved at each step along the way as any regional land use Plan is adopted.


  • The West Susitna Access Project is being proposed to advance to Phase 2 of a multi-phase project to examine the feasibility of an all-season access road to the Yentna Mining District
  • The road corridor will enable access to the MSB and state-owned natural resources for multiple user groups.
  • Phase 1, led by HDR Alaska, was completed in the fall of 2019 and narrowed the project footprint, and established a preferred route leading to the Yetna Mining District. Digital data was acquired and a high level field reconnaissance was conducted; Phase 1 results.
  • Phase 2 of the project builds on the 2014 West Susitna Roads to Resources study led by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.



West Susitna Access Road Economic Impacts Report

Historical West Susitna, Skwentna Region

 AIDEA West Susitna Access Study by HDR, Phase I  

West Susitna Access Phase II - MOU 

West Susitna Access Phase I - MOU 

West Susitna lidar Survey

AIDEA West Susitna Access Outreach Summary by HDR  

West Susitna Access Road Communications Plan 

West Susitna Access Phase II Preliminary Engineering Report 

West Susitna Preliminary Road Engineering Mapbook

West Susitna Preliminary Wetland Mapping Report

2022 West Susitna Access Project FAQ







01/21/2021     West Susitna Access Project Update Mat-Su Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission
02/20/2021      West Susitna Access Road Project Alaska Outdoor Council
03/01/2021   Update on Projects, Investments and Cash Flow Senate Finance Committee
03/09/2021   AIDEA FY22 Budget, Reserve & Credit Summary House Finance Committee
03/16/2021   AIDEA Overview & West Susitna Access Project Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce
03/16/2021   West Susitna Phase II Conclusion Mat-Su Borough Assembly
03/18/2021   West Susitna Access Project Update Mat-Su Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission
05/12/2021   West Susitna Access Road Project American Society of Civil Engineers, Mat-Su Chapter
06/08/2021   West Susitna Access Project Update Big Lake Community Council
07/28/2021   Advancing Prosperity for Alaskans - AIDEA/AEA Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce
08/12/2021   West Susitna Access Project Update Port Mackenzie Community Council
11/11/2021   Public-Private Partnerships and Project Updates AGC of Alaska, Annual Conference
12/07/2021   West Susitna Access Road Project Mat-Su Borough Assembly
12/21/2021   West Susitna Access Road Project Mat-Su Borough Assembly
 01/14/2022   AIDEA Overview & Mining Projects Alaska Miner's Association
02/23/2022   Online Public Meeting with Pre-Recorded Presentation Mat-Su Borough Assembly & Susitna River Coalition
03/10/2022   Access to Opportunities: Section 1002 Leases, Ambler Access Project & West Susitna Access Project The Alaska Support Industry Alliance
03/23/2022   Online Public Meeting with Pre-Recorded Presentation Mat-Su Borough Assembly & Susitna River Coalition