The State of Alaska is planning to rebuild its Marine Highway ferry terminal in Prince Rupert.
The terminal was originally built in 1963 and is the only Canadian stop on the state’s extensive coastal ferry system. With the original agreement soon to come to an end, the State of Alaska is currently in negotiations with CN Rail and the Prince Rupert Port Authority for another 50-year lease that is expected to be approved in September.
While the terminal building on the Prince Rupert waterfront was opened in 1993, the old dock has been facing the elements for half a century and is deteriorating, and once a new lease is put in place, it will be replaced.
That project is still in the design stage but Alaska is looking to build a new transfer bridge, abutment, float/lift system and new mooring structures. These are what need to be done, but the state is also looking into the possibility of refurbishing the much newer terminal building and its parking and staging areas.
To make this project happen, the Alaska State Legislature has approved $11-million USD to spend on a new terminal. That figure is purely an estimate, according to the Marine Highway department, once the designs are done, a more accurate cost evaluation will be done.
The project’s manager is hopeful that the design phase will be finished by this time next year, and that the construction contract should go out to bid later that fall.
Because the project is being funded by the state but taking place outside their country, the Marine Highway representative The Prince Rupert Northern View talked to about the project wasn’t certain how the contract will be awarded other than it will have go out to bid.
But the State of Alaska does have a history of advertising contracts that are up for bidding outside their state, in this very newspaper in fact. So it stands to reason that Prince Rupert contractors will have a shot at being awarded the contract.