A large project such as the Seward Marine Terminal Expansion Plan requires a high level of coordination between multiple disciplines. Coordination includes site planning for marine, rail, and road, engineering, architecture, economic studies, safety and security improvements, regulatory and environmental needs, and stakeholder support. We’ve been working hard to interweave all aspects of the disciplines. Over 180 stakeholder participants have attended meetings, provided valuable data, participated in workshops, or hosted site visits with the team to identify needs and priorities across the site. We’ve performed passenger counts, measured ships, conducted a wave analysis, aggregated freight data, and much more in an effort to ensure our plan will be the best it can be.
Out of 188 potential projects identified during the process, the project team has refined and narrowed the concepts down to 38. We are further refining the designs to align with four project Cornerstones: Passengers, Freight, Commercial Real Estate, and Infrastructure. The projects are being designed to work in harmony with each other, with ARRC operations, and with Seward’s interests, while also taking into consideration project phasing and funding.
In keeping with our Project Vision, our economics team has been analyzing future commercial business opportunities on the Seward Marine Terminal Reserve. Opportunities identified include dedicated laydown area for freight; hotel or retail outlet opportunities; marine-based businesses such as seafood processing, marine repair and fabrication, and refined fuel distribution. These prospects are undergoing further analysis.
For the other identified Cornerstones, our dock engineers are looking at cost-effective options to replace the Passenger Dock while maintaining critical passenger operations during construction. Freight Dock improvements are already underway. Plans for infrastructure such as utilities and road upgrades are being coordinated to support the growth and development of activities in the other three Cornerstones, including concepts for a freight corridor.
Between now and Fall 2017, we will finalize the Passenger Traffic, Freight Traffic, and Connectivity Studies; meet with regulatory agencies; finalize project design concepts and estimates; and produce a Master Plan. The Master Plan is a “crystal ball” look into 20 years in the future to provide separation of freight and passenger activities, improve economic opportunities, and meet growing transportation demands. Through multi phased-options and cost-effective design specifications, we hope to be a part of a bright and flourishing Seward for decades to come.
The Seward Marine Terminal Expansion project is funded by a generous TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration (MARAD).