Knik Arm dock hurting for business

Posted: Monday, November 05, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- After two years in business, the port at Point MacKenzie is struggling for business.

Port MacKenzie, built at a cost of $7 million in 1999, has generated less than $20,000 in revenue, according to port director Marc Van Dongen. There are questions about the dock's stability in an earthquake, and borough officials say creating an economically viable port would take millions of dollars more.

This winter, the borough will begin extending electricity to the port at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. It's the first of more than $20 million in projects they hope will jump-start business at the port. Those projects, as yet unscheduled, include installing natural gas, paving several miles of dirt road and setting up ferry service to carry passengers, vehicles and freight across Knik Arm.

The port, which sits almost directly across Knik Arm from the Anchorage port, has long been viewed by borough officials as key to expanding the Valley's economic base. So far, however, there is only one permanent customer, Alaska Manufacturing Contractors.

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