The parent company of White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad has applied for an Army Corps of Engineers permit to put fill in the Skagway River. The fill would widen a railroad embankment and enable construction of a new siding track.
White Pass says the 15,000 cubic yards of gravel and 3,000 cubic yards of rip-rap will widen the embankment more than 3,000 feet. The material would impact about .75 acres of the Skagway River on the west side of the main track.
The permit application says the expanded embankment will allow the dozens of trains that operate on that route to pass each other without having to stop and wait. The company says this will increase safety, reduce fuel consumption and improve efficiency.
The permit is on the Skagway Borough Assembly agenda this week. The assembly will discuss what comments it wants to submit to the Army Corps. The public comment deadline is Feb. 7.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, the assembly will decide whether to take a step forward with a proposed school vocational education building. Four architecture firms submitted proposals for design services. A scoring committee favors the pitch from Architects Alaska. Former Skagway School student David Moore works for Architects Alaska, and would lead the design work if his company’s proposal is chosen.
At its last meeting, the assembly adjusted its capital improvement project priorities in preparation for state funding requests. The assembly is now set to finalize the priority lists.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in assembly chambers.