The purpose of the Port MacKenzie rail extension project is to establish a rail link between Port MacKenzie and the Alaska Railroad, providing Port MacKenzie customers/shippers efficient rail transportation between the Port and Interior Alaska. The rail line would travel north from the port facility and connect to the existing rail system at a point near Houston.
The proposed rail link is consistent with ARRC’s enabling statute, to foster and promote long-term economic growth and development of the state's land and natural resources. It draws from more than over 30 years of planning documents and studies relating to port development and access. The project would expand and complement the regional transportation network, and represents a milestone in the development of the port.
Specifically, the project would:
Provide transportation via rail for the development of minerals and other natural resources.
Provide an alternative for transporting materials and equipment for large construction projects.
The project size and significance to transportation in the area are expected to have additional positive effects both locally and regionally. Some of these secondary project benefits could include:
Increase in employment and support for the tax base for communities benefiting from newly stimulated natural resource development and rail freight activity.
An opportunity for future development of rail passenger service to the western Matanuska-Susitna Borough.