HDL has been assisting the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration with the completion of an Environmental Assessment for the extension of Anton Larsen Bay Road. The project is being developed in cooperation with the Native Village of Ouzinkie and proposes to extend Anton Larsen Bay Road approximately two miles to a new road and a new boat launch and float/docking facility at the mouth of Anton Larsen Bay.
There is no road connection between the City of Kodiak and the outlying communities of Ouzinkie and Port Lions. Transportation options available to travelers between these communities include the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), commercial and general aviation, and commercial and private boats. Travelers also utilize Anton Larsen Bay Road on Kodiak Island road system in combination with small boats, or “skiffs”.
Local residents view travel via a combination of skiff and vehicle through Anton Larsen Bay and Anton Larsen Bay Road as the most cost effective, convenient, and safe option for non-emergencies. During the spring, summer, and fall, travel from Ouzinkie or Port Lions to Kodiak via this route involves a roughly 30-minute skiff ride from either community to the Anton Larsen Bay Dock located near the head of the Anton Larsen Bay. From there, it is a 20- to 30-minute car ride via Anton Larsen Bay Road to the Kodiak Airport or the City of Kodiak.
In the winter, however, the interior portion of Anton Larsen Bay freezes over due to fresh water entering the head of the Bay, preventing boats from launching from the dock or entering the Bay. During this time, marine travel is limited to a route around Spruce Cape along the northeastern tip of Kodiak Island. Northeasterly wind and ocean currents from the Gulf of Alaska often present difficult or dangerous travel conditions along this portion of Kodiak Island’s shoreline.
Because the mouth of the Bay receives less fresh water than the inland portion of the Bay, the mouth freezes less frequently, therefore increasing access to/from remote areas by boat in the winter. The extension project has been discussed locally since the 1960s and was recently included in the KIB Capital Improvement Program.
The purpose of the project is to provide increased access between Kodiak and outlying communities of Port Lions, Ouzinkie, and other remote locations. The proposed route would reduce the extent of open-ocean travel currently required to access the City of Kodiak by outlying communities.