Judge awards Anchorage damages in long-running port case

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A judge has awarded the Municipality of Anchorage more than $367 million in damages in a long-running case over a failed port expansion effort.

The amount is in line with what the city requested in its case against the federal government. U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Edward J. Damich had previously ruled in Anchorage’s favor, in December, finding the government had breached agreements with the municipality, Anchorage TV station KTUU reported. On Thursday, Damich issued the award decision, which can be appealed.

Anchorage alleged the federal Maritime Administration was required to provide technical expertise to oversee, design and construct the project “free of defects,” and that had it breached its agreements, according to Damich’s December ruling. The government argued that Anchorage was responsible for managing and carrying out the project, he wrote.

The municipality had sued contractors involved in construction in the Port of Anchorage expansion project over a decade ago. It later sued the Maritime Administration. The port was renamed the Port of Alaska in 2017.

Anchorage is in the midst of a port modernization effort that according to Mayor Dave Bronson’s office could cost $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion.

Bronson, in a statement, said he was pleased with Damich’s decision.