Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to President Joe Biden, visited Nome on Thursday, August 24th, to tour the Port of Nome, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in the city. His trip to Alaska occurred days after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced nearly $100 million in broadband grants to be distributed to three areas: the Yukon-Koyukuk, Bethel/Kusilvak, and Hoonah-Angoon Census Area.
Landrieu’s trip began with a stop in Anchorage, where he met with Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) President Julie Kitka. The meeting was attended by AFN leadership, The White House, the Department of the Interior, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski. AFN leaders discussed infrastructure issues across the state and potential funding sources for infrastructure projects in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Landrieu is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Law, which is delivering $5.2 billion across Alaska.
While in Nome, Landrieu announced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $250 million investment in the Port of Nome through The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its expansion and modernization. The port will be deepened by the Army Corps of Engineers, allowing larger ships to dock in Nome. The West Causeway will be extended by 3,500 feet and will add three large docks. The first phase of the project is fully funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The second phase of the project involves dredging the deep-water basin and outer basin. A design for the basins is underway with a planned construction award in summer 2025. Phase 3 will build the East Causeway, which is not yet funded.
While in Nome, Landrieu joined a community roundtable to highlight President Biden’s efforts in Nome. In attendance were the Mayor of Nome, and staff from the Department of Commerce. The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded Kawerak, Inc. for the Savoonga Reindeer Commercial Company while hearing from the local community about issues they are facing.
The Port of Nome Army Corps Project aims to enhance the development of dependable and streamlined transportation systems for both the area and its neighboring communities. The City of Nome has initiated the design of port modifications, ensuring the safe passage of vessels exceeding 18 feet. These port enhancements not only bolster national security and military preparedness but also contribute to improved accessibility in rural Alaska.
Photo at top: U.S. Army Corps Headquarters in Washington, (used with permission, 2020)