New weather system could better inform marine travelers
The Petersburg Borough Assembly approved a letter to Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Pat Kemp in support of establishing a permanent Road Weather Information System (RWIS) at Blaquerie Point on South Mitkof Island.
The system would allow current weather information data from the site to be accessed via the Internet.
The current site, on the south end of Mitkof Island, was established more than ten years ago and is currently in disrepair and difficult to access for maintenance. The proposed site would be more conveniently located adjacent to Mitkof Highway at Blaquerie Point.
The new system would have new monitoring equipment and a webcam and would include some components from the old station.
“It is a surety that this project would be well utilized and appreciated by local residents,” the letter states. “Additionally, as many school-aged children travel by small vessel to and from Wrangell and Petersburg via South Mitkof, their safety will be better met by school officials and parents having access to relevant weather information in this area prior to such travel.”
Petersburg resident John Murgas spoke on behalf of the project during last Monday’s assembly meeting.
“We have submitted the project for the upcoming statewide Transportation Improvement Program for funding,” Murgas said. “If successful, we would have access to the funding in about three months. By no means is this guaranteed, but the letter of support that you have would go a long way in helping that move forward.”
Murgas estimated the project to cost around $50,000.