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Anchorage port study won't be public until after $50-million bond vote

Alaska Dispatch

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the public will have to wait until after it votes on $50 million in additional funding for the Anchorage Port expansion project before it can read an evaluation overseen by federal experts of the stalled project's construction design.

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and other officials were briefed on the study of the project's design, an evaluation conducted by CH2M Hill and overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the behest of the U.S. Maritime Administration. However, citing confidentiality agreements, he refused to speak about any of the study's findings.

The study was set to be delivered to the city on Tuesday, but none of the details will be available to the public until Nov. 9, three days after an election in which people will be asked to vote on a $453-million statewide transportation bond, $50 million of which would go to the troubled port project.

"The public has a right to know what they are voting on," said Bob Shavelson, of Cook Inletkeeper, an environmental watchdog group. "When you're talking about public money and something as important as the Port of Anchorage, it should be a public, open, transparent process."

Mayor Sullivan said, now that the project is under greater municipal purview, "It can be safely said they are voting on funding the most important public infrastructure project in the state. Now that it's under our direction, going forward, I can assure them personally that it's going to be money well spent on a project that's absolutely necessary."

Read much, much more, here.