$25 Million Infrastructure Investment coming to Port of Alaska

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Part of Phase 1 of the Port of Alaska Modernization Program (PAMP) is getting funding from the Trump Administration.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program, an award of $25 million is coming to Anchorage to build a new petroleum and cement marine terminal.

The petroleum and cement terminal project will replace an aging facility, specifically constructing a pile-supported trestle and platform, piping, and fuel and cement transfer equipment. The new terminal will support the transmission of refined petroleum and cement from bulk shipping carriers to onshore pipelines and storage facilities at the Port of Alaska, in Anchorage.

Additionally, the port will use a new, hi-tech hose tower for fuel transfers, and a new dock loader system for cement transfers that have been designed to withstand a severe earthquake and reduce the possibility of release of hazardous materials.

Last week, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young released the following statement regarding the BUILD grant.

“The Port of Alaska – which provides the vast majority of the food, construction materials, fuel, and other vital goods that Alaskans rely on – is in danger from crumbling infrastructure,” said the Alaska delegation. “Alaskans have been sounding the alarm about the critical state of Alaska’s primary import terminal for years and, thankfully, the Trump administration and Secretary Chao have listened and are taking action to help us. This new BUILD Grant will help offset the cost of the first phase of the port’s desperately-needed modernization program. We thank Secretary Chao for the administration’s prudent investment today to help ensure that safe, cost-effective, reliable and resilient operations at the port continue for years to come.”

Port Director, Steve Ribuffo, said this is the first step in a major modernization of the port. One of the biggest points of focus for it's completion is not only to be more resilient to earthquakes, but also to be a supporting role in the response of another earthquake.

"This whole facility is expected to be around after the next big earthquake, to be part of the disaster recovery and response operation," he said, "Cement and Petroleum will be an important part of that recovery mission and it would be nice to have a facility to provide those goods if and when it was needed."

Where the project stands right now, Ribuffo said summer of 2019, they dredged out the foundation on where the new dock will go. This coming summer of 2020, they are going to install the trestle and the deck. They are hoping to put in the fuel lines, pumps and hoses, places to tie off a boat, and all the other accessories at the end of summer 2021.

The $25 million from the DOT grant will be spent in the construction portion following the building of the trestle and deck according to Ribuffo.

As this and other modernization plans go underway at the Port of Alaska, Ribuffo said there would be no full closure of the facilities.

While this and the rest of the modernization plans go into affect at the port.

For this round of BUILD grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $90 million can be awarded to a single State.

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