U.S. DOT Starts Planning Study For McCarthy Road June 27th & 28th In McCarthy & Chitina

  McCarthy Road Planning & Environmental Linkages Study Process Starting Soon  Chitina, at the start of the McCarthy Road. (Photo, Count...

 McCarthy Road Planning & Environmental Linkages Study Process Starting Soon 

Chitina, at the start of the McCarthy Road. (Photo, Country Journal)

Press Release, June 15th, 2023 

Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD), in partnership with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and the National Park Service (NPS), is initiating a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study on the entire McCarthy Road. The proposed study starts at the eastern city limits of Chitina and ends at the southern end of the Kennicott subdivision.

We will be starting the McCarthy Road PEL study soon, which will include a formal public outreach process.  

What is a PEL study? A PEL study is a type of transportation planning process used to identify transportation issues, priorities, and environmental concerns.  Transportation agencies can achieve significant benefits by incorporating environmental and community values into transportation decisions early in planning and carrying these considerations through project development and delivery. 

FHWA PEL Fact Sheet:


Why are we doing this PEL study?  Over recent years, local residents and visitors to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve (Park) have brought numerous concerns to the attention of the DOT&PF and Park management that emphasize the need to evaluate the reliability of access and public safety along the McCarthy Road corridor.  Since the McCarthy Road accesses federal lands, the opportunity presented itself to receive federal funding for this study, and as such the Park is a partner on the study team.    


What’s Next?  Members of the PEL study team will be stopping in McCarthy and Chitina as part of an initial corridor site visit. Come by to meet the team, learn about the PEL process, and sign up to get on the mailing list. There will be more opportunities in the future to sign up and become involved once the PEL study begins.

  • McCarthy: Tuesday, June 27th at Tony Zak’s between 5:00PM and 6:00PM
  • Chitina: Wednesday, June 28th at the Chitina Wayside kiosk between 5:00PM and 6:00PM

For more information, please contact WFLHD Project Manager Seth English-Young at 360-619-7803. 



Seth English-Young

Senior Transportation Planner

Federal Highway Administration

Western Federal Lands

610 East Fifth Street

Vancouver, WA 98661



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