Don Young Port of Alaska in Anchorage
Don Young Port of Alaska in Anchorage

With easy money gone and port dock failing, Anchorage will have to pay

Published: August 1, 2016

Alaska Dispatch News
By: Charles Wohlforth

Alaska's megaproject party is over and the roof is still leaking. Or, rather, the dock is leaking.

At the Port of Anchorage, steel pilings that hold up the docks have rusted through and water squirts out of them at low tide.

The irony here is that the money spent on projects that will never be finished would have paid for the modernization of this basic facility, which is a lifeline for the vast majority of the goods we buy. Now the money's gone but the dock still needs to be fixed, and we'll have to pay for it "with our own money," as my kids used to say.

It will cost another $290 million to get the docks to a safe, usable state, without any expansion of the port. We can pay that back over 30 years, so it's affordable, but how we pay and who pays will be an interesting debate.

But first, how did we get here?

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