Bristol Bay Times: $23 million grant set aside for Emmonak dock

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, announced a $23.1 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant for Emmonak, to construct a permanent dock and barge/landing craft ramp and to renovate approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads.

The grant is through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, previously known as TIGER grants, which provides support for capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities.

"This grant is going to be instrumental in improving the quality of life, health, and safety of residents in the lower Yukon River Delta region. Emmonak's project addresses a growing demand for durable port infrastructure, including barge landing and road infrastructure in the region as fishing and mining industries grow," said the Alaska congressional delegation in a release. "Up to now, economic development in the region has been hamstrung by the lack of infrastructure. The delegation has worked hard to advance this project. With the engineering and design complete, construction permits in-hand and construction materials already on-site — this grant is the path forward we've needed to ensure the completion of this necessary infrastructure project."

"The city of Emmonak is thrilled at the prospect of building out our connectivity within the region. We are tremendously grateful for the commercial enterprise this tug, boat and freight infrastructure will support between Yukon-River Delta communities," said Martin Moore, the city manager of Emmonak.

"This new port facility will allow us to much more efficiently conduct our economic development activities for the benefit of our region in Western Alaska," said Ragnar Alstrom, executive director of Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Quota Organization.

"This port is a boon to Emmonak and the entire region. The area the port will serve is the size of the state of Oregon. This is much needed infrastructure that will facilitate commerce for a variety of industries throughout," said Andrew Guy, CEO of Calista Corp.

In July 2018, Murkowski, Sullivan and Congressman Young all sent letters to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the Emmonak project, asking for the Secretary to give due consideration to the city's grant application.

Source: Bristol Bay Times