Current Status

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.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

  • 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.

WEST SUSITNA ACCESS PROJECT: PHASE 2

  • 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.