In last week’s CVN, a Lynn Canal Conservation representative implied in a LTE that the Turnagain Marine Lutak Dock is designed to allow for large ships to transport ore. Docks are given design classifications based on their importance – Lutak Dock is essential to the region’s economy and is therefore considered critical infrastructure. This requires designing the dock to meet American Society of Civil Engineers standards for piers’ and wharves’ seismic design. This design recommendation was a result of engineers concluding in the 2000’s that building codes for piers, docks and wharves didn’t include maritime understanding. That’s the fact behind the design – not designing the dock for a potential, specific vessel.

Residents have spoken in the last decade by electing officials who instructed staff to pursue grant funds to fix the dock. This was accomplished in 2021 on the sixth attempt. What we know from MARAD and Cordova’s project is that any attempt to reduce the project’s scope could be met with little or no funding to complete the project. We have a proposal before MARAD and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. The Ports and Harbors Committee, Planning Commission, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Alaska Marine Highway Division and the public will consider the design details. Although we got off to a slow start in answering questions, residents are welcome to bring questions to the committee hearings or to me. We’re posting answers to those questions at our Current Projects page and our Ports and Harbors page:

-Annette Kreitzer, Haines Borough Manager