♦ Advocates for Safe Alaska Highways would like to thank all of the volunteers who sat in the ASAH booth on July 29 and August 5 collecting signatures for our anti-trucking petition. We gathered nearly 400 signatures. A big shout out goes to the Interior Democrats who took it upon themselves to collect another 286 signatures at their booth! Thank you! As of Tuesday, August 8 we have 2,297 signatures. More are coming in daily. Good conversations with commercial truckers, miners, DOT personnel and even Kinross employees have been very enlightening and we completely understand why some folks are not able to sign the petition. Many confirm our concerns about this trucking plan and thank us for what we are doing. If you have signed petitions and need information on how to return them, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
♦ ASAH members attended the follow-up DOT Corridor Study TAC meeting on August 3. Take-aways included:
- The Kinross trucks have been modified to reduce the number of tires from 52 to 36. Kinney Engineering will recalculate the pavement damage estimates but predicts that the damage will be higher for the same payload weight.
- DOT would prefer (but will not require) that the total weight of the trucks be reduced by 1% (approximately 1,600 pounds).
- The Chena Hot Springs overpass will require loaded trucks to use the bypass system to divert around the bridge. It is unclear at this point if the trucks can actually navigate the roundabout or if a pilot car will be necessary to stop traffic and lower the arms to allow each loaded truck to pull across the roundabout.
- Work is still being done to come up with an acceptable plan for school bus zones. No safety plan from Kinross or Black Gold Transport has been provided.
♦ Election season is rapidly approaching. Candidates for Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly and School Board are ramping up their campaigns and fundraising. Based on overwhelming negative community sentiment towards the ore haul, we expect that this will be an election issue. Scott Crass, who is running for FNSB Assembly seat H (currently held by Aaron Lojewski) has told ASAH he is NOT for the ore haul. ASAH encourages everyone to talk to the candidates, ask them where they stand on the haul, and most importantly–get out and VOTE on October 3. Elections matter!