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Congressional Appropriations Provide Nearly $1B for Civil Works Projects in Alaska

JUNEAU, AK — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District received authorization and funding for an array of critical construction projects and activities that will contribute to the development of the state’s water resources and help boost the economy. Following the recent enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Alaska District’s Civil Works Program was rewarded $940.7 million from Congress.

“We are on the frontlines of an evolving world, and Alaska is an integral state to the success of our nation,” said Col. Damon Delarosa, Commander of the Alaska District. “These newly allocated funds allow us to continue to build a stronger Alaska through deeds, not words.”

Major civil works projects in Alaska that received funding allocations from the infrastructure act are as follows:

Port of Nome Modification Project: The remaining preconstruction, engineering, and design phase as well as the first phase of construction for the Port of Nome Modification Project is funded at $250 million. The district has begun designing modifications to the port to alleviate existing vessel restrictions that are imposed by insufficient channel depths and limited harbor space. The construction project aims to provide larger vessels improved access to Nome’s existing harbor by enlarging the outer basin and creating a new deep-water basin with a depth of minus 40 feet. Dredging would be required to deepen and maintain both basins and associated navigation channels.

Lowell Creek Flood Diversion Project: The district’s plan to construct a new flood diversion system for Lowell Creek in Seward is now funded with $185.2 million. Upgrades will include a new 18-foot diameter tunnel and diversion dam upstream from the current tunnel; refurbishment to the existing tunnel; extension of the outfall by 150 feet to carry stream flow and debris over Lowell Point Road; and a canopy to protect the tunnel inlet from landslides. The plan also calls for the removal of select trees that could block the tunnel if swept into the creek during a flood event.

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Moose Creek Dam Safety Modification Project: The second construction phase is now funded with about $88.6 million in new allocations for the Chena Flood Control Project’s Moose Creek Dam near North Pole. Last August, a contract was awarded to the Bauer Foundation Corp. of Florida to begin constructing a mix-in-place concrete barrier wall at the dam that spans 6,200 linear feet at depths of up to 65 feet. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2022.

Kenai River Bluffs Erosion Project: A protective berm along the Kenai Bluffs located near Kenai, Alaska, is funded at about $28 million to cover the preconstruction, engineering, and design phase as well as the construction phase. The project will provide a berm that stretches about 5,000 feet along the base of the eroding bluff. The new infrastructure is designed to shield the lower portion of the bluff from storm damage and prevent the removal of accumulated sediment between the toe and the berm.

Petersburg Navigation Improvements: The preconstruction, engineering, and design phase for navigation improvements at Petersburg’s South Harbor is funded at $6.3 million. The district aims to deepen the harbor via dredging operations to enable safe navigation. The project is divided into four dredging units according to depth, that range from about minus nine feet to about 19 feet. The total volume of material that will be excavated from the South Harbor is about 82,720 cubic yards.

Elim Subsistence Harbor Project: The preconstruction, engineering, and design phase for the Elim Subsistence Harbor is funded at $1.3 million. The project will provide a 300-foot-wide entrance channel with a dredging depth of 13 feet. Also, the plan incorporates bulkheads, breakwaters, turning basin, boat launch, and upland area for temporary storage. The total estimated cost of this new infrastructure is about $75 million.

Operations and Maintenance: Continued funding in the amount of $17.1 million will support annual dredging activities at the Ninilchik and St. Paul Harbors as well as maintenance at the Chena Lakes River Lakes Flood Control Project.

Furthermore, one project was funded under the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act:

Barrow Alaska Coastal Erosion Project: The construction of the Barrow Alaska Coastal Erosion Project in Utqiavik is fully funded with federal dollars at about $364.3 million. The community experiences frequent and severe coastal storms, resulting in flooding and erosion. The project will reduce the risk of storm damage to about five miles of coastline by constructing a rock revetment at the bluff area, building a protective berm, and raising Stevenson Street.

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