Port of Anchorage adds land, water, air security

PHOTO/ Ron Veltkamp/For the Journal
Several new security measures have been established at the Port of Anchorage, including increased patrols from the U.S. Coast Guard by land, air and water.

Overall security at the city-owned facility has been tightened since the terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

Effective on Nov. 9, window decals are required to enter the port, which has a new security checkpoint at the intersection of Ocean Dock Road and Union Way.

Stuart Greydanus, port operations manager, said the port has issued nearly 2,000 of the port-entry permits to regular users.

All inbound drivers, whether commercial operators or private individuals, will be checked for proper identification and their vehicles are subject to inspection. Those who have business at the port must have a confirmed sponsor, Greydanus said.

To keep traffic flowing at Alaska’s busiest port, a new pull-out lane has been established to check drivers and their vehicles, Greydanus said.

No pedestrian or bicycle traffic is allowed.

"We feel like we have a good handle on who is coming in and out of our port facility,’’ Greydanus said.

Guardian Security is under contract to staff the checkpoint facility, Greydanus said.

Anchorage police are routinely at the port, as are Coast Guard personnel who patrol the facility shoreside, Greydanus said.

Capt. Bill Hutmacher, who heads the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office in Anchorage, said helicopters from as far away as the Kodiak air station are making routine patrols at the port. The Coast Guard also has increased small boat patrols in the area, he said.

The port serves more than 80 percent of Alaska, with an annual economic impact of $725 million, according to port officials. Some 2,500 cargo containers arrive weekly at the port’s five-terminal dock that in peak years has handled more than 3 million tons of cargo, petroleum and cement.

The port also routinely serves as a staging facility for military equipment and vehicles, Greydanus said.

11/18/2001 - 8:00pm