Alaska Journal of Commerce
By: Elwood Brehmer
The Anchorage Assembly has brought in some familiar names in Alaska political and maritime circles to determine the best path forward on its troubled port modernization project.
The Assembly Enterprise and Utility Oversight Committee on April 18 approved a $45,000 contract to a partnership of the national project management firm Ascent PGM and the Anchorage consulting firm led by Mark Begich Northern Compass Group.
Ascent Alaska Vice President Roe Sturgulewski said he has worked on large port projects in Unalaska and Kodiak as well as other smaller marine infrastructure efforts across the state over the past 30 years.
Begich, a former U.S. senator and Anchorage mayor, noted during the April 18 committee meeting that he opposed the original port project management structure that put the U.S. Maritime Administration, or MARAD, in charge of the construction project because of the agency’s lack of experience in project management. MARAD’s management was approved by the Assembly and former Mayor George Wuerch shortly before Begich was sworn in as mayor in 2003, he said.