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Wednesday, March 27, 2013    

Work under way on three portions of Port MacKenzie extension in Alaska


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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