Alaska deep-water port proposed for vessels in Arctic waters

AP News
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Posted: Feb 19, 2015 1:15 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A historic Alaska gold-mining city could be the first place where the federal government invests in a deep-water port to serve vessels in Arctic waters.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to release a study for public comment that suggests expanding the Port of Nome as a first step in improving infrastructure along Alaska's west and north coast.

Nome is south of the Bering Strait but far closer to Arctic waters than the nearest Coast Guard base in Kodiak, an island east of the Aleutian Chain.

The lack of a deep-water port along Alaska's north and west coasts has been a point of concern as climate warming has made Arctic waters more accessible, increasing vessel traffic.

Joy Baker, Nome's port project manager, says expanded port facilities could handle larger, deeper fuel tankers and possibly lower fuel prices.