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Auke Bay facility gets $3.6M grant

Federal funds will allow completion of loading facility project

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010

Juneau has received $3.64 million in federal money that will allow Docks and Harbors to finish its original plans for the Auke Bay loading facility.

The money was awarded through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant Program (TIGER program), with money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus act.

Docks and Harbors Port Director John Stone said the basic aspects of the facility were completed in its initial $11.2 million phase, but they didn't have all the money to do "all the finishing touches" on the project.

That includes:

• ½ an acre of remaining fill

• asphalt paving of traffic areas

• additional power and light on uplands areas

• a security gate and fencing

• completing the barge and landing craft ramp with nine guide piles, a concrete approach and reinforced concrete planking on the loading ramp

• a fresh water service line on the fisheries dock

• a higher capacity, more heavy-duty crane

• miscellaneous work like planting and landscaping

"The unfunded items affect the efficiency of operations, environmental impacts, safety, security and user diversity of the facility," said the application. "Phase II will construct those unfunded items and complete the facility."

Stone said he anticipates putting the project out to bid in about two months, after the Assembly has appropriated the money. He hopes to have a contractor working on the project in four to five months, and for the project to be finished by the next winter.

Out of 1,380 applications nationwide, 61 were funded for a total of $1.5 billion. This is the only project funded in Alaska out of 11 applications.

"It was very ... intense competition," Stone said.

He said a grant administrator told him the project was seen as "good bang for buck" and its already existing local, state and federal permits worked for it, too, as it was seen as "shovel-ready."

• Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or maryc.martin@juneauempire.com.



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