$25M grant awarded for Port of Alaska project
Alaska's congressional delegation is announcing a $25 million grant that will help offset the costs of the Port of Alaska's $2 billion modernization project.
“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,” the delegation wrote in a news release Wednesday.
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan plus Rep. Don Young say the grant is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation and is called the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development Grant.
“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," said the delegation.
The politicians say they wrote to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao this summer on behalf of the Municipality of Anchorage in support of the grant application.
The money will go to the first phase of the port project, particularly toward competing a new petroleum and cement terminal.
According to a news release from Mayor Ethan Berkowitz's office, state and federal funds are covering $134 million of the $214 million terminal, leaving an $80 million gap.
“The additional $25 million solves a critical piece of the missing money problem and gives us a high degree of confidence that we will complete the new terminal in 2021,” Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said in the release.
The Port Commission has proposed a port-tariff change that would let the port raise the remaining $55 million, the mayor's office says. The Anchorage Assembly still needs to review that proposal.
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