Municipality of Anchorage awarded $360M from lawsuit over port expansion project

A crane lifts a conex
A crane prepares to move a shipping container off a cargo ship and onto a truck at the Port of Alaska on March 22, 2020. (Mayowa Aina/Alaska Public Media)

The federal Department of Transportation will have to pay $367,446,809 to the Municipality of Anchorage due to various failures with the Port of Alaska expansion project.

A judge issued the order Thursday.

The municipality sued the federal government over the various design and construction defects with the port project more than a decade ago. 

In December, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled in favor of the municipality, stating that because of various defects, the DOT’s Maritime Administration breached its contract with the city. 

In a statement, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson applauded the judge’s decision to award the municipality damages.

“Though this is a positive outcome, we must remember that the appeal process could take up to a year, and the final amount to be paid is unresolved,” he said. “In the meantime, we still need to construct a seismically resilient port that achieves food security for our state.”

City officials anticipate the current Port Modernization project will cost between $1.6 and $1.8 billion. The city is also requesting $600 million from the state to design and construct a cargo dock at the port.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the cost of the Port Modernization project. It is estimated to cost between $1.6 and $1.8 billion.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.