Judge hears arguments over Juneau cruise ship docks

The Alaska Commercial Fishermen's Memorial on Juneau's downtown waterfront. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial on Juneau’s downtown waterfront. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The ongoing dispute between the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial and the City and Borough of Juneau continued in court on Monday.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Louis Menendez heard arguments over whether to block the city from moving forward with a massive cruise ship dock project in front of the memorial.

Bruce Weyhrauch, an attorney and president of the Fishermen’s Memorial board of directors, argued the city should be barred from hiring a contractor or paying money for the two floating berths until the State of Alaska completes the transfer of submerged tidelands to the municipality. The Juneau Assembly last month approved a nearly $54 million contract award to Seattle-based Manson Construction.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources in January approved the land transfer, but the Fishermen’s Memorial appealed. The decision was automatically put on hold pending a ruling from DNR Commissioner Joe Balash.

Weyhrauch said a massive dock in front of the memorial would permanently and negatively alter the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

Assistant City Attorney Christopher Orman argued the memorial does not have standing to try to block the project. Orman said the city does not believe the docks will cause irreparable harm to the memorial.

Menendez said he would issue a decision soon. The judge previously denied a motion from the Fishermen’s Memorial to immediately stop work on the project.

Recent headlines

  • An Alaska Airlines plane at Juneau International Airport.

    Alaska Airlines pilots plan picket over lack of compensation

    Alaska Airlines pilots have reached a breaking point in negotiations with the company, and now have plans to picket outside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The pilots plan to picket starting at 1 p.m. Monday outside the airport in Anchorage.
  • Obadiah Jenkins tries to help Daniel Hartung pull himself from Six-Mile Creek in Hope. (Photo courtesy James Bennett)

    Homer resident saves kayaker’s life on Six-Mile Creek

    Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, Daniel Hartung, 64, of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log.
  • Vigor Alaska Shipyard Development director Doug Ward talks with Marine Transportation advisory board member Greg Wakefield inside the not-quite-finished Alaska Class ferry Tazlina. (Photo by Leila Kheiry/KRBD)

    Alaska class ferry Tazlina on track at Ketchikan shipyard

    The Tazlina is the first of two new Alaska Class ferries that the Ketchikan Vigor Alaska shipyard is building for the state. Its two halves are complete and welded together, and shipyard workers are busy getting interior spaces done.
  • The Matanuska sits in drydock for maintenance.

    Fall-winter-spring ferry bookings begin

    The Alaska Marine Highway is taking reservations for October through April sailings. The schedule changed so the Matanuska can get new engines.