By ELISE GIORDANO

Assembly and Port Commission members met with Gateway Project manager Chad Gubala and Bob Riley, a principal of KPFF Consulting Engineers, to look over and discuss possible project designs for the Gateway Project on March 4.

Gubala said designers focused on sticking closely to the municipality’s objectives while creating the designs, and also keeping mitigation highest on the list.

“We want to make sure you have a harbor that doesn’t do any harm to humans and is in good shape for marine life as well,” he said.

The estimated cost of the remediation, along with contingency funds, is between $12 and $16 million and includes the dredge remediation of the harbor, remediation and capping of the slope, as well as the demolition of the existing dock and ship loader.  The base cost without contingency or tax is between $8 and $11 million.

Though the existing ship loader still has life left, the only way to complete the mitigation of the slope is to remove the loader.

The mitigation costs an estimated $300 per yard, with 22,000 yards being mitigated.

The ground also represents problems with seismic activity.

Riley said after conducting borings of the soil, they found areas which will see seismic activity in the next 72 years, 400 years and 2,500 years.

“We either need to design for the displacement that we expect, or improve the ground so we densify the soil and minimize the risk,” Riley said.

The ground improvements to prevent seismic events add 25 percent to the entire cost, but Riley says it’s insurance.

The three preliminary plans for the dock reconstruction vary in price and design.

The basic plan offers a single circular coffercell and includes the removal of 30,000 cubic yards of dredging, with half of the dredged material being shipped off site and the other half placed in the coffercell.

The estimated cost range for the first option ranges between $16 and $21 million. With 30 percent contingency and a 7 percent tax, the price rises between  $23 and $29 million.

A second option offers 20,000 square feet of pile supported dock structure, with all dredged material being shipped off site.

The price ranges from $19 to $24 million, and rises between $27 and $34 million with the contingency and tax added in.

The “Cadillac” version reaches a price of $60 million, or $85 million with contingency and tax, and includes a full coffercell and 1150‘x150’ dock, with all dredged materials stored in the coffercell.

All three plans include demolition and disposal of the existing timber ore dock and walkways, the ore loader and foundation, as well as the existing Alaska Marine Lines dock.

In the first and third options, the existing dolphins would be demolished.

Both Port Commission and Assembly members had issues with details of the layouts, which Gubala said could be changed.

Mention of a floating dock was made, as well as project funding.

Assemblyman Tim Cochran said he didn’t want to make any hasty decisions before showing the stakeholders the numbers.

Port Commission chair Tim Bourcy agreed, and added that creating bigger and more detailed pictures of the designs might help determine spatial relationships in a more visual way.

A meeting with stakeholders had not been scheduled as of press time.