Murkowski surveys rockslide threatening Skagway’s cruise ship dock

The cruise ship berth directly below the rock slide is empty for the rest of the 2022 season. August 3, 2022. (Stremple/KTOO)

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was in Skagway last week as part of a tour of Southeast Alaska. She also took the opportunity to survey a looming rockslide threat.

Active rockslides are threatening to devastate the town’s multimillion dollar cruise ship port. That could take a serious bite out of the visitor industry that feeds Southeast Alaska’s summer economy, which was already hurting after pandemic shutdowns.

Skagway is more than a cruise ship port. It is also a port of entry to Canada at the Fraser border, just 20 miles out of town.

Murkowski said that’s a big part of why she’s interested in helping Skagway address the issue.

“This is one of those gateway communities to the border,” she said. “And so this is about access. This is not just about a tourism community. This is a community that has its own economic identity as well. But you got to be able to move in and out.”

Murkowski said there might be ways the federal government can help. She cited her work on last year’s federal infrastructure bill, which focuses on things like roads, rails, bridges, ports, harbors and the Alaska Marine Highway System.

“When we think about ways that the federal government can help facilitate healthy communities, making sure that you’ve got a good, strong, safe waterfront is pretty important,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski also visited Juneau, Haines, Tenakee Springs and Wrangell during her tour.


Claire Stremple

Alaska News Reporter, KTOO

I believe every Alaskan has a right to timely information about their health and health systems, and their natural environment and its management. My goal is to report thoughtful stories that inform, inspire and quench the curiosity of listeners across the state.

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