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ANCHORAGE (AP) — The projected cost of the Port of Alaska renovation could be cut by a third or more, according to a report by a private consulting firm.
The 97-page draft analysis said Anchorage could save from $600 to $800 million on the projected $1.9 billion cost of the port modernization project, The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.
Ascent PGM submitted recommendations to the Anchorage Assembly including limiting new construction and shifting its contracting and design philosophy. The assembly contracted Ascent and consultancy Northern Compass to find ways to lower costs and identify funding options.
Roe Sturgulewski, an Ascent vice president, told an assembly committee last month that the $1.9 billion estimate includes $300 million for cost escalation since the design concept was drafted in 2014.
Another significant cost element was that the administration used basic design criteria from the petroleum and cement terminal and extrapolated them for other facilities needing upgrades such as the large cargo terminals, he said.
The assembly approved a $42 million contract in July to start construction of a new petroleum and cement dock next year. The work will be the first major development at the port since construction was halted in 2010 when widespread damage occurred in a primary dock support.
Sturgulewski suggested other cost-cutting alternatives such as building only one new cargo terminal instead of replacing both that are currently in use. Some assembly members have said building one terminal and compelling shippers to adjust schedules warrants serious consideration.
“You can cut the cost of the program in half, I believe,” Sturgulewski said.