The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District released a draft feasibility report and environmental assessment today that tentatively selects a plan to establish a deep-water port in Nome to support increased vessel traffic and economic development in the Arctic.
In 2012, the Corps launched the Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System Study to evaluate potential locations on the northern and western coasts of the state, and determine the feasibility of constructing navigation improvements as part of a larger system of port facilities in the Arctic and sub-Arctic region.
The study’s findings identify a tentatively selected plan that will address the need for enhanced marine infrastructure to support the offshore oil and gas industry, search and rescue, and oil spill response.
Proposed improvements for the Port of Nome include demolition of the existing spur breakwater at the end of the causeway, construction of a 2,150-foot causeway extension and 450-foot dock, as well as dredging the newly-created protected area and associated entrance channel to 28 feet.
Currently, the estimated cost of this federal project is $150 million. Additional expenses associated with the construction of local service facilities, which include docks, mooring dolphins, utilities and security gates, are projected at $61 million.
The draft report and environmental assessment are available at: http://www.poa.usace.army.mil/Library/ReportsandStudies/AlaskaRegionalPortsStudy.aspx.
The public review period for this report is scheduled through Mar. 23. Comments may be submitted by email to: AKRegPorts@usace.army.mil.
# # #
Release no. 15-003