Breakwater project funded in Port Lions

Port Lions just obtained federal funding for a breakwater construction that will help ease the wear and tear on its harbor. The project will be completed through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which works on the construction and maintenance of water resources and other forms of infrastructure.

Bruce Sexauer is the chief of the civil works branch at the Alaska District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and says additional breakwater is necessary to provide complete protection for Port Lion’s harbor.

“There’s been waves and such that sneak around the existing protective structure and as they’ve tried to expand their harbor facilities, add in additional docks, they would extend out beyond the protective area and it would be subject to wave battery and break up or have to replaced much more often,” Sexauer said.

He says the organization has been investigating possible improvements at Port Lions for a few years now.

“In 2006, the congress authorized a project for construction – that’s the authorization, not the funding for it – and over the last couple of years, we have been going through a detailed design process for that project,” Sexauer said.

He says the Army Corps of Engineers found that Port Lions offers a solid economic incentive for construction.

“We did some additional assessment for Port Lions and looked at the situation of the fisheries out there. The fisheries aren’t diminishing,” Sexauer said. “There are actually is some additional demand for moorage space out in the entire Kodiak area and many vessels identified Port Lions as being a place they would like to utilize.”

The Port Lions project is one of those which will be covered under the Army Civil Works program’s federally funded Fiscal Year 2016 work plan, which it delivered to Congress earlier this week.

The project’s budget is about $10 million dollars and the administration will contribute $8.3 million with Port Lions also setting aside funds, Sexauer said.

The Army Corps of Engineers will start advertising for contractors to submit bids on the construction this summer and work will begin next year, he said. They should complete the project by 2018, he said.