Armed with golden shears, state and local representatives celebrated the completion of phase one of the master plan at Statter Harbor with a ceremonial ribbon cutting there on Wednesday.
“Without the stalwart support of our elected officials, board members and civic leaders, this and other waterfront projects would remain locked as only good ideas and never come to fruition,” said Docks and Harbors Port Director Carl Uchytil. “I’m pleased to see the support and turnout of local officials today.”
In attendance were Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, Rep. Cathy Munoz, R-Juneau, Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, Deputy Mayor Mary Becker and Assembly Members Jesse Kiehl, Carlton Smith and Jerry Nankervis.
“There has been a lot of heavy lifting by many over the past decade,” Uchytil said. “I would be remiss not to thank the elected officials, the appointed boards including past Docks and Harbors members, planning commissioners and Docks and Harbors employees who have shepherded this project from concept to completion.“
The facility at Auke Bay was named after the late Don D. Statter whose wife Anita, along with her daughter and granddaughters, were at the dedication.
Following a short review of Statter’s life and career, deputy port director Eric Schaal thanked the various organizations that helped make the project possible.
“This project had many interesting facts and accomplishments in it. Some of the piles are up to 240 feet long,” Schaal said. “This required Pacific Pile and Marine to specifically construct a crane that had both the lifting capability and the boom length to manage these huge piles.”
Schaal also noted the LED lighting system that has been incorporated at the harbor that will help diffuse light pollution.
Workers meandered about, still working on and around the harbor as it moves into phase two which begins in April 2014, as the local and state representatives addressed the crowd.
“What a happy day. The legislature has stepped forward over the last three years and helped fund this project,” said Rep. Muñoz. “It took a lot of people working together to make that happen.”
Senator Egan candidly spoke about his friendship with the Statters over the years, saying the event “is very emotional for me.”
As the golden ribbon was stretched before the entrance to the dock, surrounded by officials wielding shears, Anita Statter raised her clippers and said, “here it goes.”
• Contact reporter Kenneth Rosen at 523-2250 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.