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Consultants discuss three concepts for Lutak Dock


Some basic design ideas for overhauling the corroding Lutak Dock are scheduled to be ready by Jan. 25, 2017.

But lots of questions will remain for the Haines Borough to figure out.

Haines began its first discussion Tuesday on how the Lutak Dock – where the borough’s freight traffic comes and goes – should be upgraded or fixed.

Haines officials and residents have talked for years about upgrading the deteriorating 63-year-old dock. R&M Consultants engineer John Daley and a 2014 PND Engineers report said the steel dock suffers extensive corrosion.

In fact, 15 “cells” – thick vertical steel-and-concrete cylinders that hold up the edge of the dock facing Lutak Inlet – do not meet U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ safety standards, the 2014 report said. One of those 15 cells has already split open.

In mid-October, the Haines Borough Assembly voted to hire R&M Consultants of Anchorage for $129,530 to come up with basic concepts and figures for Haines to digest. R&M’s work will not include engineered construction plans.

As contracted, R&M scheduled public meetings for last Tuesday, and on Dec. 7 and Jan. 12, before delivering a final report by Jan. 25, 2017.

On Tuesday, R&M senior engineer Daley and planning group leader Van Le discussed three basic concepts with roughly 30 people at the Haines library.

One concept is to build a type of metal barrier next to the dock’s cells to slow down corrosion from the inlet’s waters. The second concept is to replace the existing 3.3-acre dock, which Daley speculated would have to be done in phases in order to keep the barges running. The third concept is to heavily reinforce the existing dock.

R&M did not have cost estimates Tuesday because it received the initial design contract 10 days earlier. Daley expected that some preliminary cost figures would be ready by the Dec. 7 public meeting.

R&M will update its progress on this project on a website at

“You guys are going to have to make some decisions,” Daley told the crowd.

Decisions outside of R&M’s hands will include a budget that Haines can live with, how the money will be raised, plus how much of the costs will be handled by the dock users as opposed to Haines’ taxpayers. Another local question will be the desired size of the new or overhauled dock.

Once some basic concepts are nailed down, Haines will be equipped to begin approaching state and federal agencies for grants, said borough manager Bill Seward.


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