By Jeremy Hsieh
Alaska Public Media
Anchorage officials took two big steps forward Tuesday toward rebuilding the aging and vulnerable cargo lifeline almost the entire state relies on.
Most of the state’s incoming freight, fuel and consumer goods flow through the city-owned Port of Alaska, built in 1961. Corrosion and age are wearing down the sections used for cargo, which don’t meet modern shipping standards.
Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly voted 11-0 to approve key design decisions about what two rebuilt cargo terminals will look like, and new user fees that they intend to leverage for big state and federal grants to pay for it. The port facilities are being designed to last 75 years and to stand up to earthquakes. The Assembly’s action puts this phase of the massive port project on a path for construction to begin in 2025.