US Army Corps of Engineers to hold deep-draft port meeting in Nome

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District will host a virtual community information meeting on May 17 regarding the Port of Nome deep-draft modification project.

The Corps will provide a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

Nome Port Director Joy Baker encourages interested parties to attend either virtually or in-person – and explains what will happen at the meeting. 

“They’ll be able to get an update on where the Corps stands at the moment with the project,” Baker said. “We’re currently between 95 and 100% (of the design) and we’ll give a PowerPoint between the Corps and the city’s design teams and me, to let the folks know exactly where we stand and the remaining schedule to get to the end – and then when the Phase One package is expected to be out for contractors’ solicitation.”

The milestone for achieving 100% of the design has been pushed back multiple times, with the latest deadline set for May 3.

Baker says the city is also working on its own projects for the deep-draft modification. Work on those plans should be finalized by mid-summer.

“The city is currently working with their own designers for our local service facilities, to finalize any questions or changes at the Corps’ request, or at the city design team request, (and) to work through the last few kinks to get us off 95% and closer to 100%, which I understand should be due around the middle of June,” Baker said.

The project aims to provide larger vessels improved access to Nome’s existing harbor by enlarging the outer basin and creating a new deep-water basin with a depth of minus-40 feet.

According to a report by the Corps, dredging would be required to deepen and maintain both basins and associated navigation channels.

Currently, the Nome port has a depth in the outer basin of minus-22 feet, which isn’t deep enough to safely accommodate vessels of drafts greater than 18 feet.

The hybrid meeting will be Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mini Convention Center and via WebEx.

Image at top: PND’s updated model rendering for the design of a potential Arctic Deep Draft Port in Nome. Photo from Port of Nome, used with permission (2020).