Veco and a Bridge to Nowhere


I doubt it had much to do with the search of Alaska state lawmakers’ offices, including Ben Stevens, the son of Sen. Ted Stevens, for information on the legislators’ relationship to Alaska oil services firm Veco (whose executives are prolific campaign donors to Alaskan politicians), but it’s worth noting that Veco figures in one of the two “Bridges to Nowhere” — the Knik Arm Crossing, described here as “a proposed 13,500-ft span across Knik Arm from Anchorage to hundreds of square miles of unpopulated wetlands to the north.”

Veco was a subcontractor (paid a little more than $42,000 in 2004) on the project (I believe they worked on the conceptual engineering process), and they also have an interest in operating in the “nowhere” that the bridge goes to — the new port facility across the Knik Arm from Anchorage:

VECO has presented the Borough with a Letter of Interest to construct the firm’s oil/gas field modular units at Port MacKenzie. The Port MacKenzie facility offers several highly significant means of improving VECO’s competitive standing in modular construction thus providing additional employment opportunities for qualified Alaskans. The Borough is working closely with VECO to identify those capital improvements that are necessary to meet its needs.

The same press release, from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, also notes,

Senator [Ted] Stevens has most recently provided the Borough with an additional allocation of $4.4 million in FTA and $6 million in FHWA funds. These funds are critical to the port’s continued development. More specifically, these funds will be used to improve the transportation links between the port site and the existing labor and commercial areas that are more than an hour’s travel from the port site. For example, the last 14 miles of the Point MacKenzie Road is still a gravel surface, creating higher road and vehicle maintenance costs and longer travel times. While the road is scheduled for paving it will not occur for a few years. The $4.4 million in FTA funds allocated by Senator Stevens will be used to establish transit support for the businesses located at Port MacKenzie. …

The Borough continues to work with business firms located at the port in their efforts to expand and is working to locate additional firms, such as VECO, at the port. … Funding provided by Senator Stevens, Congressman Young, and Senator Green are the primary reasons this opportunity is becoming a reality. The new funding allocations are critical to the port’s continued development and will be immediately utilized.