New Floating Dock Proposed to Improve Safety, Efficiency of Alaska’s Sand Point Harbor

A map of Alaska with the Aleutians East Borough highlighted. Image courtesy of David Benbennick.

Officials with Alaska’s Aleutians East Borough (AEB) are proposing installation of a new prefabricated floating dock at Sand Point for what they say would be improved safety, efficiency and reliable use of the harbor.

Borough officials noted on July 31, that the federal Transportation Department’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) had awarded funds to the borough under the Port Infrastructure Development Program to complete the treated timber floating dock.

Use of these funds would require compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act to be provided through an environmental assessment process. AEB made the announcement in conjunction with a request for public comment. No formal public meeting is proposed.

Along with the installation of the prefabricated treated timber floats, the project would include adding potable water, fire protection, electrical and lighting, cathodic protection and other safety systems, such as life rings, ladders and fire extinguishers on the new dock.

AEB officials said installation of Float A would bring the new harbor facility to full use, doubling its capacity and increasing moorage space in the harbor from 254 linear feet to 1,308 linear feet for vessels of all sizes.

They describe the project as one of life and safety necessity for a fishing community, located 570 air miles from Anchorage and the Alaska mainland, with no road connections to the mainland, and limited ferry service in May, July, August and September.

On the border between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, Sand Point is subjected to extreme wind and weather throughout the year. The new floating dock also would increase navigational safety within Sand Point Harbor, while providing an additional node in the regional transportation network that encourages economic growth, they said.

Comments on the proposed project must be received by Sept. 5. They can be submitted to Anne Bailey, administrator, Sand Point New Harbor Floating Dock Project, Aleutians East Borough, 3380 C Street, Suite 205, Anchorage, Alaska, 99503.

Comments also may be submitted online via the following link: