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  6.  | Barrow Coastal Erosion Contract Goes to Brice Civil Constructors

Barrow Coastal Erosion Contract Goes to Brice Civil Constructors

May 15, 2024 | Alaska Native, Construction, Engineering, News

Patricia Morales | Alaska Business

The construction contract for the Barrow Coastal Erosion Project in Utqiaġvik goes to Brice Civil Constructors. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – Alaska District awarded the first segment of the contract valued at approximately $60 million.

Front Line of Climate Change

A component company of Calista regional corporation, Anchorage-based Brice Civil Constructors will begin building a portion of the structure aimed at reducing erosion and the risk of storm damage to about 5 miles of coastline. This first effort will construct a revetment by downtown Utqiaġvik. Future work consists of more rock revetments, a protective berm, and raising and armoring Stevenson Street heading northward up the coast.

Funded by the 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the federal government is covering 90 percent of the project’s cost, and the North Slope Borough is responsible for the remaining 10 percent as the non-federal sponsor. USACE and the borough signed a project partnership agreement in August 2023, and the contract award represents the next major milestone.

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The project has been on the drawing board since before Alaska’s northernmost town changed its name from Barrow to Utqiaġvik in 2016. The community experiences frequent and severe coastal storms, resulting in flooding and erosion that threaten public safety and critical infrastructure valued at more than $1 billion.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to rural communities on the front lines of climate change,” says Colonel Jeffrey Palazzini, USACE district commander. “Our experience constructing erosion protection projects in the Arctic coupled with great partnerships with our stakeholders will help build this vital infrastructure to protect the Utqiaġvik community for many years to come.”

Currently, the borough constructs temporary beach berms by bulldozing sand supplemented with materials from upland areas. These ongoing activities and associated costs will be replaced by a permanent structure.

Rock production will begin in summer 2024 and work is scheduled for completion in 2031. Additional segments of the contract are expected to be awarded over the next several years.

USACE received about $1 billion worth of civil works construction projects for Alaska in 2022 following the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as well as the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Other major projects funded by these two pieces of legislation include the Port of Nome Modification, Lowell Creek Flood Diversion in Seward, Moose Creek Dam Modification in North Pole, Petersburg Navigation Improvements, a subsistence harbor for Elim, and the Kenai River Bluffs Erosion Project.

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June 2024
Welcome to the June 2024 issue, which features our annual Transportation Special Section. We've paired it this year with a focus on the Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i, as Alaska has close ties to both that reach far beyond lines of transportation. Even further out past our Pacific Ocean compatriots and our Canadian neighbors to the east, Alaska's reach extends to India and Singapore. Enjoy this issue that explores many of Alaska's far-flung business dealings.
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