The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation proposes to construct ferry terminal improvements in Kodiak that will increase the efficiency and safety for the transfer of passengers and vehicles by AMHS vessels.
The City of Kodiak has been served by AMHS ferry vessels for over 40 years. The principal mainline ferry, the Tustumena (296 feet long), has docked at the City’s Pier 1 berth for much of that time. Use of the City of Kodiak’s shoreline and harbors has grown substantially over time. In addition to the Tustumena, the Kennicott also serves Kodiak. The Kennicott cannot transit under the bridge to Near Island and therefore uses the City’s Pier 2. Some of AMHS’s existing operational issues in Kodiak are summarized below.
• AMHS ferry vessels current utilize two separate berthing locations which result in inefficiencies in AMHS operational abilities.
• Increasing vessel, passenger and vehicle security requirements.
• Existing Piers 1 and 2 are often busy during the summer months and scheduling conflicts can occur.
• Increasing frequency of visits to Kodiak by the Kennicott.
• Vehicle transfer to and from the Kennicott is inefficient due to the use of the onboard elevator for vehicle May 9 – 13.transfers. A transfer bridge, roll-on / roll-off system would be preferred.
• Pier 1 area is congested and has inadequate vehicle parking and staging areas.
• Pier 2 does not have shore-side facilities such as a ticketing office for AMHS and public waiting areas.
The purpose of this project is to provide ferry terminal improvements in Kodiak that will increase the efficiency and safety for the transfer of passengers and vehicles by AMHS vessels. The need for the project is due to deficiencies of mooring facilities and upland areas and related support facilities that presently hinder ferry operations at the present berthing locations.
Engineering studies to date have looked at five potential locations as outlined on Figure 1. These locations include Piers 1 and 2, City Transient Float, Near Island, Saint Paul Harbor breakwater and the Lash Dock (Womens Bay). Of these locations, only Pier 2, Saint Paul Harbor breakwater, and the Lash dock sites have the capability to be used by both the Kennicott and the Tustumena. A reconnaissance engineering study was prepared in February 2007. The 2007 report identified the preferred location to be at Near Island; however, additional investigations revealed that this location was not suitable for safe use by the Kennicott.
With elimination of the preferred alternative, the next best option considered in the reconnaissance study was development on the St. Paul Harbor breakwater. AMHS’s preferred configuration was a terminal at the south end of the breakwater with the vessel bow pointing to the southwest. At this location vessels have more space to maneuver during their approach and more room leeward if needed during adverse weather. Construction of a terminal at this site is expensive however and requires a pile supported dock and an approach and staging area embankment. Initial cost estimates far exceeded the available funding. The general consensus was this project was unaffordable and project development stalled.
In June 2011, it was decided that due to funding constraints, the available project funds would be used to focus efforts on the reconstruction of the Pier 1 facility.
February 2012 – Developing Request for Proposal package for the procurement of consultant architectural, engineering, and construction services for the reconstruction of the Pier 1 facility. Anticipated RFP advertising date of mid-February.