ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking a fresh look at improving the historic Alaska port of Nome for serving Arctic-bound ships.

The Corps last week entered into an agreement with the city of Nome to examine whether benefits justify costs of navigation improvements.

A joint federal-state study started in 2008 looked at alternatives for Arctic ports in the Bering and Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') seas and Nome was a top choice.

However, economic justification for the port diminished in late 2015 when Royal Dutch Shell PLC ended offshore drilling in the Chukchi Sea and the study was suspended.

Bruce Sexauer of the Army Corps of Engineers says marine traffic continues to build off Alaska's northwest coast and the agency will investigate whether that justifies federal spending on Nome port improvements.

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