The Western Alaska city of Emmonak is getting $23.1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build a port facility. The grant will be used to construct a permanent dock and a barge/landing craft ramp, plus renovate about 3.5 miles of service roads, according to a release from Alaska's congressional delegation Friday.

The Yukon River is the third longest in North America and Emmonak is a regional hub, so the new construction is expected to help mining, fishing and other industries all over western Alaska.

“This port is a boon to Emmonak and the entire region," said Calista Corporation CEO Andrew Guy. "This is much needed infrastructure that will facilitate commerce for a variety of industries."

In the past, economic growth in the region has suffered due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure.

"With the engineering and design complete, construction permits in-hand and construction materials already on site—this grant is the path forward we've needed," Alaska's congressional delegation, made up of Republicans Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, said.

Emmonak's leadership is excited about the prospect of increased connectivity, too.

"We are tremendously grateful for the commercial enterprise this tug, boat and freight infrastructure will support between Yukon-River Delta communities,” said Emmonak city manager Martin Moore.

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