Now it’s 16 Miles!

For the last several decades it has been a little over 14 miles from one end of Sitka’s road system to the other.  Over the July 4th weekend that became a little under 16 miles as the first section of the Katlian Bay road was opened to traffic. 

The 9-mile proposed road was put to bid in 2019, ending at the head of Katlian Bay on land owned by the Shee Atika Native Corporation.  The proposed cost, $32 million.   The road was originally routed along the shoreline but because of considerations like wetland conservation, it climbs up a mountainside and, in many places, is blasted through rock.  In 2022 the $32 million looked more like it would be $60 million.  Extra money was appropriated but that too ran out.  According to Senator Bert Stedman it may cost another$20 million plus several more million for bridges to complete.  So, although the road is largely built, it lacks bridges to connect parts of it together.

While not quite a road to nowhere, it ends at a beautiful lookout near the mouth of Katlian Bay and passes another overlooking Mosquito Cover and Mt. Edgecumbe, it only goes 1.8 miles.

Suzi, Brian, Fiona and I drove to the very end of the road.  Further than we had ever driven in Sitka before, to take in the views.

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