SEWARD AND KODIAK WILL GET INFRASTRUCTURE DOLLARS
A major appropriations package passed Congress last week that included $655 million for the design and construction of a new “heavy polar security cutter,” also known as an icebreaker, $20 million to acquire long lead-time materials for a second icebreaker, $400 million for offshore patrol cutters and $340 million for fast response cutters, six of which will be based in Alaska.
The funding means the country will construct the first two heavy-duty icebreakers in 40 years.
The bill provides $53 million for shore-side infrastructure facilities in Alaska to support the new cutters, with $22 million going to Kodiak and $31 million to Seward.
“After years of advocating for the federal government to take America’s role as an Arctic nation seriously, we have finally secured substantial resources for our country to strengthen its position in the region with a brand-new icebreaker,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan.
“With this appropriation, Congress and the Trump administration are acknowledging that Alaska is America’s Arctic, a fact that is important to our broader national security interests. I was glad to have the opportunity to use my leadership role on the Commerce and Armed Services Committees, in conjunction with Senator Murkowski’s work on the Appropriations Committee, to secure America’s first new polar icebreaker in a generation and the needs of the Coast Guard in Alaska.”
Sullivan will likely discuss details of the appropriations during his speech to the Alaska Legislature at 11 am on Thursday.