$3.6M approved for Auke Bay loading facility

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The U.S. Department of Transportation gave the go-ahead to begin modernization and expansion of the Auke Bay Loading Facility after it finalized a $3.6 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Recovery Act grant agreement with the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska.

“The Auke Bay project is another example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to modernizing our transportation infrastructure and creating economic opportunity for rural areas,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says. “Thanks to TIGER Recovery Act grants like these, transportation projects are creating jobs in communities across the country.”

The new loading facility will provide improved distribution services for the local fishing industry and enhance the efficiency of small freight companies by offsetting the high cost of local operations. The dock will support a rebounding wild salmon fish industry – an important market for the entire Juneau area.

The modernization project, which is expected to begin in November and take seven months to complete, will provide immediate jobs for more than 250 people through the life of the construction period. This new water-based transportation hub will help reverse a declining trend in employment by creating long-term jobs in a sustainable industry.

The $3.6 million grant is from the USDOT TIGER program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, designed to promote innovative multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.

“All around the country, TIGER Recovery Act grants are focusing on port infrastructure projects such as these that have been neglected but are finally getting the attention they deserve,” says Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda.

USDOT announced the selection of $1.5 billion worth of TIGER grants for 51 projects as part of the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act on Feb. 17.