Following the January termination of the Alaska Regional Ports Feasibility Study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District entered into an agreement with the City of Nome on February 2 to begin a feasibility study for constructing navigation improvements at the Port of Nome instead.
The Alaska Regional Ports study was based on the assumption that Royal Dutch Shell would be undertaking oil exploration activities in the Arctic. When the company announced in 2015 that it was suspending any activity in the Arctic, the economic assumptions and justification for the navigation project was no longer valid. However, it was determined that port improvements to the Port of Nome could be warranted as Nome is a regional hub for surrounding communities that rely on fuel and goods. A planning charrette will be scheduled for late April in Nome to look at the budget, schedule and scope of the feasibility study.