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Haines Highway Project Raises Fish, Eagle Concerns

Published On: Oct 21 2013 09:22:17 AM AKDT
Haines Highway Project Raises Fish, Eagle Concerns
JUNEAU, Alaska -

Scientists and conservationists worry a project to upgrade the Alaska portion of the Haines Highway could hurt bald eagle nesting sites and salmon habitat.

The state transportation department deems the project necessary to make the road safer.

Al Clough, a regional director for the department, says designers are trying to minimize the amount of clearing and filling and officials are reviewing the plan to straighten some of the highway's curves based on public comments.

The Juneau Empire reports the current design would mostly maintain the 55 mph speed limit, though the limit would be lower on several curves.

Lynn Canal Conservation board member George Figdor says speed limit adjustments would be more reasonable than filling certain areas and cutting down trees with eagle nests.

A revised plan is expected.