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Alaska’s local and tribal governments have two powerful allies working together to help them capture federal transportation grant funding for their local marine facilities, roadways bridges, and trails. The Alaska Municipal League (AML) and Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to partner and share resources to support local and tribal governments in order to capture competitive, discretionary grants for local transportation projects.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law”), passed in November 2021, providing a once in a generation investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, including airports, highways, ports, bridges, and trails.

Discretionary grants for local and tribal governments are a significant part of the new law, however, many smaller governments lack the capacity or resources to compete and execute federal funding. DOT&PF and AML are partnering to help Alaska’s cities, boroughs, and tribes, by directing statewide expertise and resources to projects that are competitive. Alaska’s projects will compete against projects from across the nation; the stronger the proposal the more successful Alaska will be.

“For these grant opportunities, it’s important that we compete with the lower 48 and not with our local government partners.” said Commissioner Ryan Anderson. “Working with AML allows us to coordinate our efforts and leverage our resources.”

Leveraging AML networks is crucial to successful grant outcomes as well, and AML serves 165 cities and boroughs, and through partnerships, Alaska’s 228 Tribal governments. AML resources include its online platforms, such as its akfederalfunding.org website, and its expertise in grant application and administration. AML also has contracted professional project assessment and grant writing services. DOT&PF and AML will share additional program details as they become available. 

“Local governments recognize the incredible opportunity that federal infrastructure investments present and have directed AML to prioritize this and help maximize the benefits that can come to Alaska,” said Nils Andreassen, Executive Director of the Alaska Municipal League. “There’s a natural nexus between the bulk of IIJA investment and local governments’ responsibilities for transportation infrastructure—AML is excited to be working alongside the Alaska DOT&PF to ensure that local and Alaska transportation projects are nationally competitive.”

While DOT&PF and AML signed the Memorandum of Agreement recently, they have been collaborating for months, and have recently submitted several community grants, including:

  • Prince William Sound Dock Modifications (Prince William Sound Economic Development District is primary) Tatitlek $10.5m; Chenega $12.6m; Cordova $6.2 million, for a total of $29.3m.
  • AMHS Pelican Ferry Terminal New Side Berth (City of Pelican is primary) for $13.5m.
  • AMHS Auke Bay Ferry East Berth Improvements Phase 1: East Berth Dolphin Improvements (DOT&PF is primary) for $8.7m
  • AMHS Tustumena Replacement Vessel for $195m

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 33 communities, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”



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