|Welcome to Whittier
Situated at the head of Passage Canal, the community of Whittier is approximately 58 miles southeast of Anchorage. Whittier is by far the most visited gateway to the mesmerizing wilderness of Prince William Sound. Each summer, thousands of visitors arrive at this magnificent port by ship, train, or automobile.
This area originally was part of the portage route for the Chugach Natives of Prince William Sound traveling to fish the Turnagain Arm. Later the Russians and Americans exploring the region also used this passage. It was used by prospecting miners during the gold rush as it was the quickest passage from the Sound to the Cook Inlet and Interior regions. The city itself is a historical area, established by the U.S. Army during World War II. The Federal railroad to Portage was completed in 1943 and became the primary debarkation point for cargo, troops, and dependents of the Alaska Command.
In 1948 the military began construction of the first of two buildings for their military personnel as the Port of Whittier was then recognized as an ice-free, deepwater port strategically located to Anchorage and Interior Alaska. This remained active until 1960 at which time the total population was 1200.
The City of Whittier was incorporated in 1969. Today, less than 300 people reside in the town supporting the Alaska State Ferry, the Alaska Railroad, freight barge, commercial fishing, the Whittier Harbor, recreation and tourism with an annual visiting population of over 700,000.
The City of Whittier is constructing a 33,000 sf Public Safety Facility at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Whittier Street. The three story building will be finished out on the first floor to house the Whittier Volunteer Fire Department, the Police Department and the Public Works Department. The second floor will not be finished out in the first phase other than the storage mezzanine for the Public Works Department. The third floor will be partially finished to house the City Council Chambers. This level of completion allows the current Public Works building to be emptied enabling the City to start advertising for buyers or leasees.
Lawrence Peek is the building Architect and SR Bales is the general contractor.
February 2017 Update:
January was spent installing underground utilities in preparation for the first indoor concrete pour. This was accomplished on January 31 and included the police office area and the main entrance. Work is now underway to pour the public safety apparatus bays. The floor drains, heat tube and insulation are being installed for this. February should see the bulk of the first floor concrete poured.
Video and photographic records will be kept online and available for all to see. Updates will be made several times a week and will include still photos, time lapse and real time videos as well as drone flyover videos.
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