ANCHORAGE (AP) -- New security measures have been established at the Port of Anchorage, where the bulk of the products destined for the Railbelt are brought in. The measures include increased patrols from the U.S. Coast Guard by land, air and water.
Overall security at the city-owned facility has been tightened since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Window decals are now required to drive into the port, which has a new security checkpoint on the way in.
Stuart Greydanus, port operations manager, said the port has issued nearly 2,000 port-entry permits to regular users.
All inbound drivers are being checked for proper identification and their vehicles are subject to inspection. Those who have business at the port must have a confirmed sponsor, Greydanus said.
''We feel like we have a good handle on who is coming in and out of our port facility,'' Greydanus said.
Anchorage police routinely check the port, as do Coast Guard personnel who patrol the facility shoreside, Greydanus said.
Capt. Bill Hutmacher, who heads the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Anchorage, said helicopters from as far away as Kodiak are making routine patrols at the port. The Coast Guard also has increased boat patrols in the area, he said.
The port serves more than 80 percent of Alaska, with an annual economic impact of $725 million, according to port officials. Some 2,500 cargo containers arrive weekly at the port's five-terminal dock. IN peak years, the facility has handled more than 3 million tons of cargo, petroleum and cement.
The port also routinely serves as a staging facility for military equipment and vehicles, Greydanus said.
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