By: Scott Gross
During the summer, looking out into the Port of Alaska in Anchorage, red and white dredge hard at work may be seen.
“We’ve dredged at the Port of Anchorage for probably about over 40 years,” operations branch chief for the Alaska district, Julie Anderson, said. “The purpose of the project is to keep the entrance, the turning area and the terminals where the ships come up to the docks, to an authorized depth of minus 35 feet.”
In a July 6 press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an estimated 2,400 to 2,600 cargo containers arrive at the port each week to keep stores supplied with consumer goods throughout the Interior and Southcentral Alaska.
The ever-flowing current builds underwater shoals, much like sand bars, in the Cook Inlet which create depths that ships are not able to navigate in. The dredge chews away at the shoals allowing traffic to continue in the port.