An expansion plan for the Port of Nome is starting to take shape. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District released a draft feasibility report Feb. 20 that outlines what it sees as a reasonable Arctic deep-draft port.
It was a mixed bag for Anchorage’s housing market in 2014. While demand slowed, prices generally continued to grow. Michael Droege of Century 21 Realty Solutions told the Anchorage Board of Realtors that the total number of units sold in the municipality fell 4.2 percent last year, to slightly less than 4,000.
The state budget may be grim but Alaska’s construction industry as a whole should have another good year, according to a University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research forecast. The 2015 construction outlook predicts a total spend of more than $8.5 billion statewide. That would be a 3 percent decline from the revised 2014 projection of $8.8 billion worth of construction activity in Alaska.
It’s a seeming paradox: Oil prices are still sliding as North Slope crude closed at about $55 per barrel Jan. 6, but this year’s winter construction season is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever. Industry employment, the most reliable indicator of activity, set new records in October and November, according to data from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.