In a recent late-afternoon phone call to KNOM, Senator Lisa Murkowski had big news to share about Nome’s future. The city’s long-discussed Deep Draft Port will receive a quarter billion dollars for construction.
The project has been a long time coming, Senator Murkowski said. With diminishing Arctic sea ice, proponents of the port feel the increased access to tourism, potential military activity, and year-round shipping infrastructure will be an economic boost for the region. The closest deep draft port to Nome is currently in Dutch Harbor, 740 air miles away.
Nome’s port is not the only project benefiting from the infrastructure bill. For example, Senator Dan Sullivan announced the subsistence harbor project in Elim will receive $3,335,000 from the bill.
“What it now means is that with money that is coming, now the real work begins,” Murkowski stated. “This news about the port expansion is incredibly great, but we also know we’re going to have other projects coming our way, whether it’s the build out of broadband capacity, water and wastewater… We’re going to be busy in Alaska,” the Senator told listeners.
Image at top: Joy Baker, Nome port director, explains a rendering of the new deep draft port at a public meeting last fall.