Douglas Harbor project behind schedule

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2001

The first phase of the Douglas Harbor expansion project is behind schedule, but the Juneau Docks and Harbors Board on Thursday decided to push forward with the second phase of dredging Steamship Wharf this winter.

Under the first phase of the project, contractor BOSS Construction is dredging Douglas Harbor and putting in a new launch ramp, said Port Director Joe Graham. Dredging has taken longer than anticipated, he said.

The Docks and Harbors Board recommended that the Juneau Assembly move $350,000 from the proposed Auke Bay Commercial Loading Facility project to cover shortfalls and allow the city to possibly accelerate phase two through bid alternates. It includes an expansion of Savikko Road next to the Douglas Harbor and dredging Steamship Wharf downtown.

"All we can do is put it out to bid. If no one bids, we're back to square one," Graham said. "We're keeping our fingers crossed that some contractor will want to complete that project."

The hope is to dredge Steamship Wharf by April 1, giving cruise ships more room to maneuver. As an example, dredging will allow both the Norwegian Sky and Legend of the Seas to dock downtown on some Tuesdays this summer, according to Don Habeger of Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska. Without dredging, one ship would need to anchor in Gastineau Channel, he said.

"The bend in the dock gives a little bit of extra room. The other thing that has to happen is dredging," he said.

The contractor for phase two may need to store dredged material from Steamship Wharf on a barge until work on the Savikko Road retaining wall is finished, Graham said. The material will be used to expand Savikko Road.

The first phase of the project could be finished in mid-January, Graham said. Under the city's contract, liquidated damages of $750 a day begin accruing after a mid-December deadline. The contractor has dredged between 25,000 and 30,000 cubic yards of sediment out of about 60,000 cubic yards from the harbor, he said.

Joanna Markell can be reached at

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