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District awards contract to Western Marine Construction for Kenai coastal erosion project

Posted on February 12, 2024

Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District awarded a construction contract for the Kenai River Bluffs Erosion Project.

Western Marine Construction of Seattle, Washington, will construct a protective rock berm approximately 5,000 feet in length along the north bank of the Kenai River. It will require the placement of about 42,400 cubic yards of armor rock; 33,200 cubic yards of crushed rock and 13,100 cubic yards of gravel base. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this construction contract award is valued at about $19.3 million.

“This project is an example of our commitment to working alongside our partners and stakeholders to find engineering solutions to coastal erosion problems in Alaska,” said Col. Jeffrey Palazzini, district commander. “Together, we will build innovative, climate-resilient infrastructure that will protect communities and ecosystems for many years to come.”

The new infrastructure is designed to shield the lower portion of the bluff from storm damage and prevent erosion along the newly protected shoreline. The project will create a condition that allows the bluff to stabilize over time. The bluffs range between 55 and 70 feet high, while the face is receding at a rate of about three feet per year. The federal government is paying for 90 percent of the project’s cost share with the non-federal sponsor responsible for the remaining 10 percent.

In September 2023, representatives from USACE and the City of Kenai executed the “project partnership agreement” during a ceremony that was witnessed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Michael Connor, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The agreement advanced the construction of the project with today’s award being the next major milestone.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2024 and estimated to be completed by February 2026.

In 2022, USACE received about $1 billion worth of civil works construction projects in the state following the ratification of the infrastructure law as well as the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Other major projects funded by these two pieces of legislation include the Port of Nome Modification Project; Lowell Creek Flood Diversion Project in Seward; Moose Creek Dam Modification Project in North Pole; Petersburg Navigation Improvements; Elim Subsistence Harbor Project; and the Barrow Alaska Coastal Erosion Project in Utqiagvik.


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