Groundbreaking Held for New NOAA Facility in Alaska

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local officials recently broke ground on NOAA’s new port facility project in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Work on the $18.7 million project – awarded in April to Alaska-based Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC – involves a new office building, floating pier and access bridge, and upgrades to power and water utility systems to service visiting vessels, NOAA said.

“Building back better with climate-resilient infrastructure is what this NOAA facility revitalization project is all about,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said. “The investment we are making in partnership with the state of Alaska will help ensure that NOAA can continue to support safe navigation and commerce in Alaska efficiently and effectively for years to come.”

When completed by December 2022, the agency will have “a fully functioning homeport in Alaska capable of supporting Ketchikan-based NOAA Ship Fairweather and other visiting NOAA and government vessels,” according to NOAA.

“This project is a major step forward in NOAA’s effort to recapitalize the agency’s fleet and supporting infrastructure,” said Rear Adm. Nancy Hann, deputy director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. “We look forward to serving Alaska and the nation from this greatly improved facility.”

By Karen Robes Meeks