Alaska Lawmakers Approve Bonding Authority for Alaska Railroad to Replace Seward Dock

(Courtesy of the Alaska Railroad Corporation)

The Alaska State Legislature passed legislation authorizing the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) to sell bonds to fund the replacement of its passenger dock and terminal in Seward on Wednesday.

The measure goes to Gov. Mike Dunleavy for his signature.

Once signed, ARRC can sell up to $60 million in bonds to replace the aging dock in Seward. Officials say the dock is critical for the thousands of cruise passengers who arrive in Alaska each summer and travel throughout the state.

“We are grateful for Senate President Peter Micciche (R) and House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Grier Hopkins (D) for introducing and shepherding this bond authorization through the legislature,” said ARRC President and CEO Bill O’Leary. “And, we are thrilled the legislature provided its resounding support for this vital project that strengthens Alaska’s cruise market in Southcentral Alaska. Now, we will get to work making this new dock and terminal a reality for the benefit of our tourism partners across the state who are ready to welcome cruise guests for decades to come.”

Because the ARRC has its own bonding powers, it does not need state money for the $80 million project. Revenue bond debt will be repaid from dock user fees, and existing dock fees and ARRC capital funds will cover the remaining costs.

The project is on the fast track with support from Royal Caribbean Group, a longtime partner of the Seward cruise ship terminal. ARRC and Royal Caribbean Group are finalizing a multi-year berthing agreement with an annual revenue guarantee.

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