Judge refuses to block rail extension to port

Feb 13, 2013 -- 10:00am

 

- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A federal judge has rejected another challenge to a new rail line to Port MacKenzie in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough north of Anchorage. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline says the Army Corps of Engineers acted properly in granting a wetlands permit for the proposed 36-mile extension. The permit allows the Alaska Railroad to fill in nearly 96 acres of wetlands for the line that will start near Houston. The line will run south to the port that's situated across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. The Mat-Su Borough has promoted the port and rail line as conduit for bulk material export. Critics say the port will be unnecessary and expensive. Judge Beistline's ruling Monday says the Corps of Engineers did not act arbitrarily in granting the wetlands permit.
 

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