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$43.3 million in federal funds to go towards Cold Bay dock replacement

The dock at Cold Bay.
Courtesy of Michael Livingston
$43.3 million will go to replace Cold Bay's only dock, which was built by the state in the 1970s and expanded in the 90s.

The U.S. government is sending $72 million to Alaska communities for maritime infrastructure projects — and more than half of that money is going to Cold Bay in the Eastern Aleutians.

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan announced Tuesday that seven communities across the state will receive the funds as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The grant money is designated for projects ranging from Arctic port development in Nome to a breakwater replacement in Metlakatla.

Cold Bay is slated to receive $43.3 million, the most money by far for any of these projects.

The community of around 50 people used to be the home of Thornbrough Air Force Base, and played a major role in World War II. The money will go to replace the city’s only dock, which was built by the state in the 1970s and expanded in the 90s.

Full list of Alaska grant recipients (information provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation):

  1. Cold Bay Dock Infrastructure Replacement (Cold Bay): $43.3 million for the construction of a new dock in Cold Bay, in the Aleutian Islands, to complete necessary surveys, geotechnical work and analysis, design, permitting and replacement of the aging and only existing dock in the community.
  1. Cape Blossom Port Planning Project (Kotzebue): $2.4 million for the planning of a new port at Cape Blossom. The planning project will assess the viability of developing the first U.S. deep-water port north of the Arctic Circle and will include a feasibility and cost-benefit analysis.
  1. Metlakatla Port Improvements Project (Metlakatla Indian Community): $3.4 million for the improvement of the Port of Metlakatla, including the installation of barge fender and batter piles, preparation for the replacement of breakwater infrastructure, and repairs to the boat haul out mechanism.
  1. Arctic Deep Draft Project (Nome): $11.2 million for the construction of water and wastewater, fuel, power, and communications infrastructure to expand and deepen the Port of Nome.
  1. Deep Water Port Development (Wrangell): $421,000 for the planning and engineering of a 40-acre deep water port site in Wrangell in Southeast Alaska. This includes environmental risk assessment, permitting, assessment of property bulkhead and utility extension requirements, and a feasibility study update.
  1. Yakutat Small Boat Harbor (Yakutat): $8.9 million to replace the existing 60-year-old harbor in Yakutat. This includes the replacement of the floating dock, stringers, and steel pipe mooring piles, as well as the installation of a fire suppression system, covered gangway, and relocation of the existing seaplane float.
  1. Jackolof Bay Dock Replacement Project (Seldovia): $2.3 million for the replacement of the Jackolof Bay Dock, including a floating pier that supports commercial and subsistence fishing, freight services, and transportation to and from Seldovia on the Kenai Peninsula.
Theo Greenly reports from the Aleutians as a Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio at KCRW in Santa Monica, California, and has produced radio stories and podcasts for stations around the country.