Alaska Marine Highway System awarded $285M from federal government

Alaska Marine Highway System awarded $285M from federal government
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:31 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced on Thursday that Alaska will receive more than $285 million in funding from the Federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act, an act that Sen. Lisa Murkowski helped author.

“The six grants for Alaska that we are discussing today are going to help replace old vessels, help to upgrade docks and help to improve service,” said Buttigieg during a press conference over Zoom from Washington D.C. on Thursday.

According to a release from Sen. Murkowski’s office, the state will be required to match some of the funding. Murkowski also emphasized the importance of state investment in the Alaska Marine Highway system to maintain operations into the future.

“What is so key within this infrastructure bill, what is really monumental, which is really, quite honestly, a big fat deal in Alaska, is to be able to connect our coastal communities over the water,” Murkowski said, calling the funding “historic.”

According to the release, additional funding for the Alaska Marine Highway System will also be available in fiscal years 24, 25 and 26.

Alaska highlights of the Federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act :

  • $72 million to modernize four ferries: M/V Matanuska, M/V Columbia, M/V Tazlina and M/V Kennicott
  • $68 million to replace the M/V Tustumena
  • $45 million for dock upgrades in five communities: Juneau, Cordova, Pelican, Tatitlek and Chenega
  • $46 million for a proposed electric ferry
  • $8 million to design a new Alaska Mainliner
  • $44.8 million to improve ferry operations to rural communities