DEPARTMENTS OF PORTS AND HARBORS

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented their complete feasibility study last week for a dredging project in Iliuliuk Bay.

The proposal would remove a dense 16-foot shoal and make it easier for deeper draft vessels to maneuver through the bay's entrance.

Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin says having the channel at a deeper depth of 58 feet could be good for Unalaska.

"It opens the doors for a lot of economic diversity in the future," McLaughlin said. "But right now what we are really looking at is tankers and container ships."

Berett Wilber/KUCB

While construction is still years away, a proposal to streamline shipping traffic through the Port of Dutch Harbor has cleared several early hurdles.

In 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished a two-year feasibility study, recommended a dredging project, and won initial approval from the Unalaska City Council.

The Corps is looking to blast out and scoop away a bar that hampers navigation into Iliuliuk Bay.