With another port lawsuit settled, Anchorage one step closer to possible big payout for botched plans
Updated at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28
Another Port of Anchorage settlement is bringing the municipality closer to the biggest possible payout.
The Municipality of Anchorage will get $3.75 million from one of the contractors who worked on the failed port of Anchorage expansion project. Municipal attorney Bob Owens says Integrated Concepts and Research Corporation (ICRC) was one of several companies that caused $329 million in damages at the port.
Assembly members have argued there were design failures. The municipality abandoned the project in 2010 and is left with a failed dock after spending more than $300 million of city, state and federal money.
This is the fourth settlement for Anchorage. The first three settled for a total of $12.5 million: engineering firm Terracon Consultants for 1.9 million; MKB Constructors for $5.5 million; and sub-contractor Quality Asphalt Paving for $5.1 million. Under the terms of the settlement, none of the companies have to admit fault.
Right now, all the money from the settlements goes into the municipality’s general fund. Just $2.5 million of the $12.5 gathered from the first three settlements ended up in a fund designated for the port. The rest will also ultimately be spent on future port purposes, but the Assembly holds the approval on what exactly it will look like. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has said it will take $290 million to finish the expansion project, but the municipality has just a fraction of that in hand. Berkowitz asked the legislature for $250 million last year to finish, but lawmakers said no. Meanwhile, the 90 percent of goods that come into Alaska use a port that is nearly 60 years old and covered in rust.
Owens says the municipality is waiting for three other lawsuits to settle in district court before they go after the one that could bring in the most money. The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration was in charge of the expansion project. That lawsuit is in federal court and Owens expects a much larger payout.
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