If a port director is only as good as their next project, then Carl Uchytil is doing great.
The City and Borough of Juneau port director has about four projects in the works. During a Thursday presentation to the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Uchytil offered updates on Don D. Statter Harbor, the Archipelago Lot, dock electrification and an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.
“I will be traveling to D.C. Monday through Wednesday, and I will be meeting with various federal officials, just chatting with them about bringing grant funding back to Juneau,” Uchytil said in an interview after his presentation. I will be discussing with NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) what opportunities there will be to home port a future NOAA vessel in Juneau.”
Don D. Statter Memorial Boat Harbor in Auke Bay is one of the facilities that could benefit from those grant dollars, Uchytil said.
He said it’s time to replace the roughly 30-year-old breakwater — a structure that protects a harbor from waves.
Statter Harbor improvements are a project that could be eligible for federal funds. First, Congress will need to put it on a work list.
Another work-in-progress project is the development of the Archipelago Lot.
The area on South Franklin Street was previously used as a food court by vendors, some of whom have since relocated to Franklin Food Court at pocket park.
A deck, bus staging, parking and a shelter are planned for the lot, and work on the project’s first phase could start by the end of next month.
“The Archipelago project is being advertised as we speak,” Uchytil said. “Bid opening day is July 2. If we have successful bidders, then it will be in front of the Assembly on July 8 for approval. We’re hoping the contractor can be onsite within two or three weeks.”
He said steel and rebar have been pre-ordered for the project’s retaining wall.
“We’ve been thinking ahead, and we wanted to get the contractor in there and working as soon as possible,” Uchytil said.
Progress toward more dock electrification could be coming by fall.
Previously, the Assembly decided to allocate $300,000 in Marine Passenger Fees to pursuing shore power. Shore power allows cruise ships berthed in Juneau to plug into the city’s electricity and cut down on emissions.
“It will be an FY 20 project, and I don’t have a timeline for when we’ll start drafting the scope of work and request for proposals,” Uchytil said. “It will be some time in probably early fall when we’ll get to it.”