Work has begun on three segments of the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension project in Alaska, according to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Contracts totaling $88 million recently were awarded to three construction firms.
Bristol Construction will continue to work on Segment 1 of the project, which involves the first five miles of rail embankment.
Granite Construction was awarded the contract for Segment 6, a 1.8-mile section of the extension. The company will create a new "Y" rail connection on the northeastern end of the project and install a new siding adjacent to the Alaska Railroad Corp.'s (ARRC) mainline to Fairbanks. The connection will support freight service between Port MacKenzie and Fairbanks to the north, and Anchorage/Kenai areas to the south, Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials said in a press release.
Meanwhile, QAP was awarded the contract for Segment 3, a 6.5-mile section running run from Ayrshire Road to Papoose Twins Road near Susitna Parkway.
Borough officials also announced that the contract for Segment 4 — a 7.4-mile section from Papoose Twins Road to north of Horseshoe Lake — will be awarded in late summer. State general obligation bonds recently were sold to fund the project.
Slated for completion by 2016, the 32-mile Port MacKenzie Rail Extension will connect ARRC's mainline near Houston to the port's deep draft dock. The borough has secured $116 million in state appropriations to date for the work. To complete the entire project, the borough is requesting $126 million in additional state funds.
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