PORT

Berett Wilber/KUCB

After more than 20 years of playing with the idea, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is closing in on its final recommendations for a dredging project in Iliuliuk Bay.

Removing a large sandbar could open the Port of Dutch Harbor to deeper-draft vessels — and bigger business. But it might also affect wildlife, currents, and erosion along Front Beach.

This week, the Corps is visiting Unalaska to present the first draft of its feasibility study. KUCB's Laura Kraegel spoke with Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin to learn more about the project.

TRANSCRIPT

Annie Ropeik/KUCB

The completion dates for Unalaska's dock renovation are being pushed back one month.

On Tuesday, City Manager Thomas E. Thomas announced the city has granted an extension request from Turnagain Marine Construction, the contractor hired to replace two aging docks at the Unalaska Marine Center.

Thomas said the company needs more time replace the guardrail and remove boulders and creosote timbers unearthed during construction.

Annie Ropeik/KUCB

The City Council is considering installing a fence around the Unalaska Marine Center.

City officials say they’ve won a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to surround the port with an eight-foot fence topped with barbed wire.

Some councilors expressed support for beefing up security during Tuesday's regular meeting. But most were hesitant because the city would be on the hook for an estimated $463,000.

Annie Ropeik

After nearly 10 years, Unalaska has taken one of the final steps in making the new Unalaska Marine Center a reality -- finding financing for the $44 million dock renovation.

Mayor Frank Kelty pushed the project forward at Tuesday's City Council meeting, after councilors split over whether to partner with the Alaska Bond Bank Authority.

Kelty broke the tie and voted to authorize the sale of city bonds worth $35 million, which will be shopped to investors for startup cash.