Remember Alaska’s infamous bridge to nowhere? Well, another town in “Seward’s Icebox” has upped the ante after building an unused $75.5 million airport and a $29 million harbor with no roads connecting to the town.
The Aleutians community of Akutan is home to just over 1,000 seasonal workers and 75 full-time residents, though only about five boats, as KUCB reports.
“I personally own half a vessel,” Akutan mayor Joseph Bereskin told the publication. Though, for the record, Bereskin says he supported construction of the harbor and hopes it will grow in popularity once a connecting road is eventually built.
The Army Corps of Engineers, using $29 million in federal stimulus money, built the harbor.
“Yes. It’s not normal,” Steve Boardman, head of the Army Corps of Engineers civil projects division, told KUCB. “And it has prevented the construction of harbors in the past, when that supporting infrastructure is not there.”
There have been tentative plans to build a connecting road for years, but Jacob Stepetin of the Akutan Traditional Council says the project still lacks financial commitments from the state and federal governments and local businesses.
And along with the missing road, the harbor is also currently lacking electricity, running water, and, well, boats. The hope is that along with possessing “strategic importance,” the harbor will be used by Trident Seafoods, the largest seafood processor in the Aleutians.
The inactive harbor now shares Akutan territory with the nearby airport. Residents are required to stake a six-mile hovercraft ride to reach the airstrip, which is located on a nearby island. However, there are no airlines currently serving the airport.