By Derek Minemyer
Outlining a path to the future for the Port of Alaska -- a recent Municipal report revealing how long improvements could take, how much they'll cost … and who's going to pay for them.
The price tag has gone up almost 300 percent since 2014: Originally estimated at $485 million, the cost of the Port of Alaska Modernization Project is now $1.932 billion. But, authors of the new Municipal report say costs for upgrades to Alaska's largest cargo port will eventually pay for themselves in money saved.
"When the program cost was presented as increasing from $485 million to $1.9 billion this year, it raised widespread concern about how can we afford this program?" said co-chair of the Anchorage Assembly Enterprise and Utility Oversight Committee Suzanne LaFrance.
The question of "How much will I, the consumer, have to pay for these repairs?" changes with every new analysis. But, LaFrance makes it clear that if this project is to be properly financed it’s going to take support from residents, port users, businesses, state and federal funders.