Large Vessel Port Expansion
This project constructs a new large vessel port on the north side of Homer’s existing Small Boat Harbor. A natural shelf and local source of rock makes construction of a port basin with 40-60 large vessel slips and secure homeport and layover accommodations for US Coast Guard assets feasible. Homer’s central, road-connected location, renowned marine tradesmen and ice free conditions make it an ideal location.
Homer’s large vessel fleet has grown by 42% in the last 15 years and the length and draw of vessels requesting moorage has doubled, filling the harbor beyond capacity. Many large vessels are turned away and travel to the Lower 48 to overwinter and complete maintenance. This comes with significant operating costs for Alaska’s marine industrial fleet and significant job and revenue losses for the region.
Due to shortage of moorage space and high demand, large vessels are rafted two and three abreast in Homer Harbor causing costly travel delays for the fleet and increased maintenance and repair costs for our systems working beyond capacity. Travel lanes are constricted and traffic congested which presents navigational hazards, especially when small private boats are sharing tight travel lanes.
Port expansion will meet market demands of the marine industrial transportation sector, address navigational hazards and capture economic opportunities currently being lost while simultaneously advancing Alaska’s (and the nation’s) competitive position. This project will positively impact the lives and livelihoods of countless Alaskans through job creation, economic development and benefit national security interests well into the future.