The Alaska Department of Transportation has amended its Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan, and those amendments appear to be favorable to City of Ketchikan projects.
The Ketchikan City Council will discuss those changes during the regular Council meeting Thursday, and whether to submit comments by the Oct. 23rd deadline.
According to a memo from the city’s grants administrator, Morgan Barry, the Water Street trestle replacement project now includes additional funds for utilities; the reconstruction of Front, Mill and Stedman streets was delayed, but that will give the city more time to find grants for the related utility work; and $1.5 million was added to design improvements to Tongass Avenue and Water Street, including the downtown tunnel.
The city asked Historic Ketchikan to review the projects, and that nonprofit organization focused on the tunnel, because of its historic significance. Historic Ketchikan recommends that it be designated a historic landmark, and that improvements include better lighting, public art on the interior, noise reduction, a better pedestrian walkway and a bike lane.
Also Thursday, the Council will consider a recommendation by City Manager Karl Amylon that the city hire Lacey Simpson as the new museum director, to replace longtime director Michael Naab, who has retired. Simpson has been the senior curator of programs at the Museum Department for almost two years. She previously was that department’s program coordinator, and before that worked for the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council.
The City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Thursday in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.