U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves joined Federal, state and local officials at a groundbreaking ceremony recently marking the start of a NOAA project to revitalize the agency’s port facility in Ketchikan, Alaska.
“Building back better with climate-resilient infrastructure is what this NOAA facility revitalization project is all about,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, who attended today’s ceremony. “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.”
NOAA awarded an $18.7 million contract in April 2021 to Alaska-based Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC to make major improvements to the facility. The project includes the construction of a new office building, floating pier and access bridge, and updated power and water utility systems for servicing visiting ships.
Upon completion of the project, NOAA will have a fully functioning homeport in Alaska capable of supporting Ketchikan-based NOAA Ship Fairweather and other visiting NOAA and government vessels. NOAA expects the project to be completed by December 2022.
“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 (OMAO). “We look forward to serving Alaska and the nation from this greatly improved facility.”
NOAA’s fleet of research and survey ships is operated, managed and maintained by OMAO, which is composed of civilians and officers with the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, one of the nation’s eight uniformed services.