Courtesy image / MRV Architects
A conceptual drawing showing a possible use for Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive. This drawing shows the property with NCL’s largest ship, the Bliss, shown for scale.

Courtesy image / MRV Architects A conceptual drawing showing a possible use for Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive. This drawing shows the property with NCL’s largest ship, the Bliss, shown for scale.

Norwegian Cruise Line seeks public feedback on dock proposal

Company only needs the dock, the rest is Juneau’s, NCL says

Norwegian Cruise Line wants public input on plans for its waterfront property on Egan Drive where the company intends to build a new cruise ship dock, said a representative from the company Wednesday during a digital meeting.

Norwegian has little use for the part of the property that isn’t the dock and hopes to turn it into a community asset, said Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian, at the meeting.

“We don’t have much in the way of needs for the uplands portion of the site,” Sherman said, referring to the portion of the property on Egan Drive that Norwegian paid $20 million for last year. “We want to utilize the site in a way that will be most beneficial to Juneau.”

MRV Architects 
A conceptual drawing showing a possible use for Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive. This drawing shows a potential final version of the property with properties owned by the City and Borough of Juneau and the U.S. Coast Guard incorporated into the plan.

MRV Architects A conceptual drawing showing a possible use for Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive. This drawing shows a potential final version of the property with properties owned by the City and Borough of Juneau and the U.S. Coast Guard incorporated into the plan.

The company had met with representatives from around Juneau and had local architecture firm MRV Architects draw up preliminary concepts of what the site could look like based on feedback from the community. The images presented Wednesday show NCL’s dock being almost an exact extension of Whittier Street which runs perpendicular to the shoreline. Amenities like shore power, water and sewer connections and a way to offload its passengers to buses, Sherman said, aside from that the company is open to hearing feedback from the public.

[Norwegian VP promises to build for the community]

A website has been set up with detailed information from the company’s consultations with local authorities like the Marine Exchange of Alaska and Anchorage-based PND Engineers showing navigational and structural analyses of the project so far.

Completing the seawalk from Mayor Bill Overstreet Park was at the top of the list for possible public amenities, said Paul Voelckers with MRV, as was the proposed Alaska Ocean Center and a park with green space. All renderings are purely conceptual at this point Voelckers said, and are subject to change depending on feedback.

Sherman and representatives from local organizations working with Norwegian answered questions from the public, many of which were concerned with the environmental and infrastructure impacts of an additional dock.

A conceptual drawing showing a possible use for Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive. This drawing shows the dock within the larger plan for a continuous seawalk, and incorporates properties owned by the City and Borough of Juneau in the design. (Courtesy image / MRV Architects)

A conceptual drawing showing a possible use for Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive. This drawing shows the dock within the larger plan for a continuous seawalk, and incorporates properties owned by the City and Borough of Juneau in the design. (Courtesy image / MRV Architects)

An additional ship dock would alleviate both those issues, Sherman said, as it would free up space at the city’s existing docks and allow all ships to tie up rather than idle in the harbor with their engines still running. It was unlikely that once Norwegian’s dock was finished a sixth ship would be allowed to idle in the harbor, said Ed Page, executive director of MEA. Having another ship idling in the harbor when Norwegian’s dock was finished would create a navigational hazard, Page said.

The Coast Guard declined to comment on the project at this stage spokesperson Kip Wadlow told the Empire Thursday, saying the organization would make its recommendation to the Army Corps of Engineers once permits for the project were in.

Additionally, Sherman said the dock’s location outside of the downtown corridor would alleviate congestion in that area as buses and other vehicles wouldn’t longer have to navigate through South Franklin Street.

The project is not yet at a place where the company can give a budget estimate, Sherman said, but he noted several times his superiors are eager to begin these kinds of projects.

“We always need to be building for the future. We’re actively building on where we think the future will require us to be. What that has meant recently is building in Alaska,” Sherman said. “We’ve got cash for a long period of time. Cash isn’t an issue for us going forward, but my budget is not unlimited and never will be.”

The company had wanted to hold community meetings in March, he said, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed that. But with news of a vaccine on the horizon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently allowing cruise ships to resume some sailings, the company felt the time was right to hold those meetings.

MRV has set up a specific project page on their website that includes a survey Norwegian wants Juneauites to take before the next community meeting on Dec. 2. A still further meeting is scheduled for Dec. 28. The video recording of Wednesday’s meeting is also available.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive was empty on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. The company intends to build a dock and transform the property into a community asset and is seeking community input. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive was empty on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. The company intends to build a dock and transform the property into a community asset and is seeking community input. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Juneau School District administrators and board members review the updated budget for the current fiscal year during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Juneau School District had a $9.5M projected deficit this year. It’s now a $633,185 surplus. How is that possible?

Resignation of 34 employees since January, health insurance savings among reasons, officials say.

Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Multitude of education issues, budget, PFD among top areas of focus at legislative town hall

Juneau’s three Democratic lawmakers reassert support of more school funding, ensuring LGBTQ+ rights.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor of the Inupiaq village of Nuiqsut, at the area where a road to the Willow project will be built in the North Slope of Alaska, March 23, 2023. The Interior Department said it will not permit construction of a 211-mile road through the park, which a mining company wanted for access to copper deposits. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Biden shields millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness from drilling and mining

The Biden administration expanded federal protections across millions of acres of Alaskan… Continue reading

Allison Gornik plays the lead role of Alice during a rehearsal Saturday of Juneau Dance Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” which will be staged at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé for three days starting Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that requires quick thinking on and off your feet

Ballet that Juneau Dance Theatre calls its most elaborate production ever opens Friday at JDHS.

Caribou cross through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in their 2012 spring migration. A 211-mile industrial road that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority wants to build would pass through Gates of the Arctic and other areas used by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of the largest in North America. Supporters, including many Alaska political leaders, say the road would provide important economic benefits. Opponents say it would have unacceptable effects on the caribou. (Photo by Zak Richter/National Park Service)
Alaska’s U.S. senators say pending decisions on Ambler road and NPR-A are illegal

Expected decisions by Biden administration oppose mining road, support more North Slope protections.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House members propose constitutional amendment to allow public money for private schools

After a court ruling that overturned a key part of Alaska’s education… Continue reading

Danielle Brubaker shops for homeschool materials at the IDEA Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Anchorage on Thursday. A court ruling struck down the part of Alaska law that allows correspondence school families to receive money for such purchases. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers to wait on Alaska Supreme Court as families reel in wake of correspondence ruling

Cash allotments are ‘make or break’ for some families, others plan to limit spending.

Most Read