Issue #3 - Why did the people of King Cove seek federal legislation?
King Cove is an isolated community located at the end of the Alaska Peninsula. It is surrounded by mountains and ocean which isolate it from the Cold Bay airport, one of the best and largest airports in rural Alaska, which is only 18 air miles northwest of the King Cove runway. While close in air miles, the flight is treacherous and canceled 30-40% of the time due to weather. At least four planes have crashed in and around the Cold Bay/King Cove area all with fatalities.

What was the intent of the original federal legislation?

The King Cove Corporation wanted to exchange lands in fee simple for an easement through the Congressional mandate wilderness in the Izembek Refuge.

What is the legislation that established the King Cove Access Project (KCAP)?

KCAP came into existence as a result of negotiations between Senator Stevens and the White House. It is found in Section 353 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999. The impetus for the compromise came as a result of Senator Frank Murkowski’s passage of S---.

The legislation mandates the construction of road and marine link between the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay to provide safer, more dependable access. A total of $37.5M was set aside for the construction of a one lane gravel road, not to exceed 20’ in width, that would and a marine link ($20M), improvements to existing King Cove runway to make it useful for commercial jet aircraft ($15M) and a new health clinic ($2.5M). Keep in mind that the legislation passed by Senator Murkowski was for a land exchange between the King Cove Corporation and the US Fish & Wildlife Service and did not request any money, only an easement through the wilderness.

Section 353 contains a number of caveats and restrictions, two of which are cited above. Additional restrictions include language that states the health clinic must comply with Indian Health Service standards, that no portion of the road may enter the wilderness and that the AEB must consult with the State of Alaska on the location and design of marine facilities.

What has been accomplished with the funds?

* A new clinic was built in King Cove. However, additional funding in the amount of $2M was needed to complete it.
* The airport funding was transferred to the road/marine link when it became apparent that a jet airport could not be constructed and costs were escalating on the road and the marine link. To date, a BHT 130 has been constructed and is onsite in King Cove.
* The Cross Wind Cove hovercraft landing facility is completed.

* Approximately 10.4 miles of road fully completed with three major bridges, seven minor bridges and numerous culvert crossing. 2.9 miles of road from the Northeast Corner was partial built.
* A temporary hovercraft landing facility and building was completed in Lenard Harbor consist of landing ramp, pad, 80’by 120’ building, support structures and electric fencing.

What remains to be completed?

* Approximately 4.2 mile or roadway needs to be constructed of which 2.5 miles must be built with armored protection along the shore line.
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