Mayor Bronson talks future of port repairs in State of the City address

Dave Bronson speaks with the media
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson speaks with journalists after a special Anchorage Assembly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson says his administration is working to bolster economic development in the city through upgrades at the Port of Alaska.

“Today, we are one seismic event away from catastrophic failure of our port,” Bronson said Monday during his State of the City address to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Bronson delivered his remarks virtually because he was quarantining after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, a spokesman said.

Bronson told the luncheon crowd that about 90% of goods consumed in Alaska come through the port and it’s in dire need of repairs. As part of the Port of Alaska Modernization program, Bronson said the municipality will replace aging infrastructure at the port like old docks and pilings. The beginnings of the modernization project go back to at least 2014, when the port was called the Port of Anchorage. 

Bronson said his administration is working to secure funding to pay for the port improvements. 

“We are going to ask for a $165 million bond from the Municipality of Anchorage, $250 million from the state of Alaska and $750 million from the federal government,” Bronson said. “This is a big project.”

Bronson said he hopes fixing the dilapidated port will help to foster food security in Anchorage.

During his remarks, Bronson also discussed the decrease in violent crime and the decrease in 911 wait times from the Anchorage Police Department. He talked about the mass care homeless facility in Anchorage, and how his office and the Assembly are working on a unified approach to address homelessness.

Bronson is in quarantine for six days, the Anchorage Daily News reported. He was a close contact of Mike Robbins, executive director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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