ANCHORAGE -

The Port of Anchorage is advancing with a plan to continue its troubled port expansion project, after hundreds of millions of dollars of cost overruns the city blames on poor federal management.

Port spokesperson Lindsey Whitt says the city heard from about 50 stakeholders in the port’s ultimate design at a collaborative event called a charrette in August, with three finalist designs emerging from the week-long process.

One of the port’s largest tenants, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, has had several issues with the port’s design which the charrette has helped to address.

“We’ve had concerns with the aging infrastructure, the north expansion, and the resulting siltation issues at our berth,” George Lowery, TOTE’s director of operations, said in the statement. “During these charrette meetings, the new focus, priorities, and the theme of the concepts identified so far, gives us a great sense of encouragement that we’re now headed in the right direction.”

Engineering firm CH2M HILL, which the city contracted to manage the project after suing the federal Maritime Administration for mismanaging it dating back to 2003, will advance the concept designs to 15 percent completion for further evaluation.

While the results of the charrette will eventually be made public when the city puts forward a recommended alternative in November, Whitt says no further information about the finalist designs is immediately available.

“Three of the five designs were selected, they will be advanced to the 15 percent design stage, and we will announce them to the public in November,” Whitt said.

Editor's note: An initial version of this story which inaccurately identified Lindsey Whitt in her former capacity as Mayor Dan Sullivan's spokesperson has been corrected.