This week, the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) announced an update on the strategic Cape Blossom road in Kotzebue. The project has received additional funding, and will be fast-tracked for completion. It’s an important project that will help lower the cost of goods for Alaskans who live in the Arctic Region. Kotzebue is one of ACN’s response hubs, and we’re excited to see the project continue forward.
What is Cape Blossom Road, and why is it needed?
Ships that port in Kotzebue don’t actually anchor there. Their anchors are dropped about 15 miles outside of Kotzebue. Consequently, the delivery of goods here is even more expensive.
DOT&PF is building a road to Cape Blossom, an area of much deeper water that can accommodate larger ships. As a result, a new port will also be built there, and the new connection will help make goods much less expensive in the Arctic Region.
Why is the location of the port close to Kotzebue?
Kotzebue is the largest of the 11 communities in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB), and also serves as a transportation hub. DOT&PF estimates that 5,000 tons of freight are barged into Kotzebue each year; roughly 2,000 tons of that is transferred to NWAB villages. This freight includes semi-perishable goods, basic construction supplies, and vehicles such as cars and all-terrain vehicles. The road will be created to accommodate the safe transport of those items into the NWAB.
What other impacts could this have in the Arctic Region?
DOT&PF says the location of Cape Blossom will also help ensure that the State and Alaskans are key players as shipping routes through the Arctic evolve.
Furthermore, as an organization dedicated to oil spill prevention and response, ACN is excited to see this development move forward with additional funding, and put the state in an important place strategically as Arctic shipping increases over the coming years.
For more information about this project, visit the DOT website: https://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/capeblossomroad/
To see the press release highlighting this recent news, click here: https://dot.alaska.gov/…/pressbox/arch2022/PR22-0035.shtml