Friday, October 14, 2016

City hopeful for progress on AMHS Terminal renovation in Prince Rupert

The  latest on renovation plans for the
Alaska Marine Highway Terminal was
part of the Mayor's talking points at
Council on Tuesday
The future for the Alaska Marine Highway Terminal in Prince Rupert made for a discussion topic for Mayor Lee Brain at September's Southeast Conference gathering in Petersburg.

Tuesday evening, the Mayor provided a review of some of his discussions with Alaska officials offering up a status update for the proposed renovation project which while first popping up on the horizon back in 2014, has become stalled after the previous Conservative government raised its concerns over aspects of the Buy America program in place for the work.

In Tuesday's update, Mayor Brain outlined the stream of meetings he took part in, noting that they have found a tentative compromise solution to the Ferry terminal issue.

He noted that the Alaskans had reinforced their desire to continue to use Prince Rupert as a departure and arrival point for the service considering it the shortest route available.

According to the Mayor, the new compromise solution would see the Alaskans investing 20 million dollars into upgrading the existing terminal "as is", in exchange for the use of American supplies on the project, the labour force on the project would consist of local workers from the Prince Rupert area.

Mayor Brain providing an update
on AMHS issues to Council 
He observed that the Ferry terminal needs an upgrade to continue to operate, with the Alaskans having assigned people to engage with the Federal government on the issue.

The Mayor advised council that he would be working on the file as well, in order to find a solution with the Federal government and attract investment.

He also suggested that the proposed solution would be a temporary approach spanning the next five to ten years, making note of some of the City's larger plans for road networks and a possible ferry terminal relocation away from Fairview in the future.

Mayor Brain did not offer up any kind of timeline when it comes to the Alaskan initiative and observed that so far there has not been any public comment from the Federal government as to their approach to the issue.

You can review the Mayor's notes on his talks in Alaska from the City's Video Archive, his update starts at the 30 minute mark.

While the topic has remained fairly dormant through much of 2016, the AMHS Terminal replacement issue has spanned a number of years now and become quite controversial during that time.

In 2015 Alaskan officials had noted that the existing terminal had a five year life span left, which has put some urgency towards the goal of resolving the ongoing conflict between Senior levels of government.

Some of our past items of interest related to the issue can be found below:


December 2015 -- Alaskans giving consideration to exit from Prince Rupert for AMHS service
December 2015 -- AMHS Fairview Terminal project not listed in most recent State Transportation Update
November 2015 -- Alaska Marine Highway System faces more challenges on Rupert service
March 2015 -- Mayor Brain outlines the Prince Rupert view of shared concerns with Alaska
March 2015 -- Prince Rupert delegation heads north for Marine Highway discussions
February 2015 -- Chamber of Commerce takes Prince Rupert message to Alaska paper
February 2015 -- Cullen/Rice Letter to Tourism Prince Rupert outlines early comments on Alaska Ferry Terminal issue
January 2015 -- Alaska Governor maintains Prince Rupert Terminal renovation will go ahead ... at some time
January 2015 -- Alaska Newspaper editorial calls for the end of Alaska Marine Highway Service to Prince Rupert 
January 2015 -- Federal Government continues the fight against Buy America provisions for Alaska Ferry Terminal project
January 2015 -- Deadline for opening bids on Alaska Ferry Terminal pushed back until January 21st


December 2014 -- Tourism Prince Rupert/Chamber of Commerce speak out on Ferry Terminal dispute
December 2014 -- Alaska Ferry renovations shift from trade issue to political irritant
November 2014 -- Alaska Marine Highway Terminal renovations find a bit of International controversy
November 2014 -- AMHS Terminal project on the radar for Canadian Business group
June 2014 -- Alaska Marine Highway Terminal plan moves forward with release of Environmental Management Plan
March 2014 -- Alaska Marine Highway signs 50 year lease for Fairview Terminal

Other notes on issues related to the Alaska Marine Highway, as well as BC Ferries on the North Coast can be found on our Transportation page.

For more background on Tuesday's Council session see our Council Timeline feature, other items related to the work of Prince Rupert City Council can be found on our Council Archive page.

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