Major 2023 Alaska Construction Projects
Alaska has several unique landmarks and many construction projects to improve them planned for 2023. These construction projects will benefit Alaska landmarks in many ways, including optimizing operations, revitalizing aging infrastructure, and increasing accessibility. Here are some of the major Alaska construction projects and what goals they will try to accomplish.
Anchorage International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) is constructing a new air traffic control tower (ATCT) to provide traffic control for the airport and the nearby Lake Hood Seaplane Base. ANC is building the new ATCT to respond to decades of expansion, including new runways, widened terminals, and increased passenger and cargo traffic. Years of growing traffic have led to ANC becoming the busiest cargo airport in the U.S. and overcrowding in the old ATCT.
Once completed, the new air traffic control tower is projected to become the tallest building in Alaska, standing approximately 300 feet tall, surpassing Downtown Anchorage’s ConocoPhillips Alaska Building’s 296 feet. Anchorage International Airport designed the new ATCT to withstand Alaska’s cold climate and seismic activity. New ATCT design features include a durable metal rainscreen, a 12-sided cab for improved viewing, and a low-maintenance exterior finish.
The new, taller ATCT will be able to accommodate more air traffic control specialists while incorporating the latest technology. These improvements allow the staff to handle the increased traffic and complexities ANC has taken on while not interfering with current operations.
Denali National Park Bridge
The National Park Service has approved the pre-construction of a bridge over the Pretty Rocks landslide located at the halfway point of the road between Denali National Park and Preserve. The landslide results from an increasing thaw rate, causing it to accelerate faster than in previous decades. Denali National Park has had to contend with the actively moving landslide, making the only road connecting the National Park and Preserve impassable for the past two tourist seasons.
Granite Construction will build a 475 feet long single-span steel truss bridge over the landslide area, restoring tourist access to the entire road. In addition, construction will include rock anchors, precast concrete abutments, and thermosiphons designed to maintain existing permafrost.
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2023 and has a tentative deadline of May 2025. The construction project will attempt to minimize disruptions to park operations, such as noise and vehicle traffic, while maintaining the park’s natural beauty. Visitors can still participate in many recreational activities during construction, including wildlife viewing, hiking, backpacking, and camping.
Cordova South Harbor Restoration
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently provided the City of Cordova with a $20 million grant to rebuild its South Harbor, enabling the city to begin the project. The project aims to renovate South Harbor, construct a drive-down dock, and implement uplands improvements. In recent years, the current harbor has dealt with issues related to aging infrastructure, including dock cleats breaking loose and floats becoming waterlogged.
In addition to revitalizing infrastructure, the harbor restoration will feature improvements designed to reduce pollution, including a pump-out sewer station to discourage vessels from disposing of wastewater in the ocean. The City of Cordova has scheduled the project for September 15th, 2023. Furthermore, the city may be able to draw from a $2 million Alaska Clean Water Fund loan which will appear on ballots this spring. If voters approve the loan, the city will use it to fund the replacement of the hazardous creosote pilings with steel.
Alaska Marine Highway System
The federal government recently announced that $285 million will fund improvements to the Alaska Highway Marine System (Alaska’s ferry system). Alaska’s Marine Highway has increasingly dealt with component breakdowns, service interruptions, and stranded passengers due to the former. Planned projects include modernizing and replacing vessels and docks throughout Alaska, including the 60-year-old Matanuska ferry. Improvements planned for the Matanuska include refurbishing passenger and crew quarters, enhanced safety features, and new plumbing and electrical materials.
Another project planned is dock replacement in the cities of Pelican, Tatitlek, and Chenega and harbor infrastructure improvement in Juneau. Further, some funding will go towards replacing the aging Tustumena ferry, the only ferry linking South-central Alaska to the Aleutian Islands. Another planned project is to construct an electric ferry to reduce overall emissions. These changes seek to modernize the harbors, improve reliability, and reduce pollution.
Anchorage International Airport South Campus Cargo Terminal
Anchorage International Airport (ANC) is developing the 120-acre South Campus Cargo Terminal to streamline cargo operations, including cargo transfer, refueling, and maintenance. Cargo carriers can look forward to decreased turnaround times, minimized time on the ground, and quicker service. The terminal will accommodate projected cargo volume growth and keep ANC competitive as a global cargo hub. The construction project is slated to begin in the summer of 2023.
Each construction project will make Alaska landmarks safer, more accessible, and more efficient. If you want to ship construction materials to Alaska for your next project, Alaska Air Forwarding safely transports cargo anywhere in the state year-round. Contact us or get a quote online to get started.