After two years of construction downtown, the new cruise dock is ready for business.
At noon Friday, Docks &Harbors is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated cruise ship dock, located at the Alaska Steamship Dock next to the downtown library and Marine Park. The project, which contracted Seattle-based Manson Construction for the work, added two large Panamax docks to accommodate larger cruise ships.
The unveiling comes four days after the first cruise ships of the year arrived, and the day after the ribbon cutting, the annual Maritime Festival will take place on the new dock. The weather this weekend is expected to be good for the ribbon cutting, as well as the Blessing of the Fleet at 10 a.m. Saturday and the Maritime Festival that runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The project has taken place in two phases, with Docks &Harbors constructing the southern portion in the winter of 2015-16 and the northern portion this past winter. Port Director Carl Uchytil was nervous about the first phase last year, but is looking forward to unveiling the completed project.
“Last year, I was sweating that project and it went off beautifully,” Uchytil said, “so I have no doubt that what we’re doing here in the north berth will be equally as spectacular as far as being functional and doing what we need it to do. It’s exciting.”