Transportation projects are sometimes delayed, especially when a shipment depends on federal grant funding. After more than a year, 1,375 pallets of plastic geogrid mats were finally barged from Seattle to Toksook, AK when the grant came through. "The stacked pallets had been sitting near my office since 2022," says Brian Ward, Alaska Marine Lines Marine Operations Manager. "It was great to get the material delivered where it can be put to use in Western Alaska."
Geogrid mats snap together to create a solid road surface atop the tundra. Approximately 82,000 grid mats were delivered to create 80 miles of road to connect Toksook to Nightmute and other Western Alaska villages.
The mats were first barged to Bethel where the Alaska Marine Trucking team offloaded them to the yard. "Bering Marine then loaded our landing crafts for our trips to Toksook Bay," Brian says. In addition to 140 20-foot platforms, mats, lumber and additional equipment were transported for the project including two forklifts, jump ramps, a loader and a tractor-trailer. All had to be unloaded on the beach and trucked to the staging area at the Toksook Airport. "Other than snow, wind and a muddy beach landing, our operation went off without a hitch," Brian says.