(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and contractor, HI-TECH Rockfall Construction, will start work next week to secure rocks at seven locations between MP 104-114 on the Seward Highway. The seven locations were selected for improvements based on the history of rockfall and the risk to the traveling public. The locations are as follows: MP 104.7, MP 109.4, MP 109.6, MP 110.5, MP 111.3, MP 113.6, and MP 113.9.
The construction team will use a combination of methods to secure the rock, including scaling (pre-emptively removing rock that is likely to fall), draped mesh, attenuation devices, rock dowels, and rock bolts.
This $12.8 million project is the third in a series of improvements in this section of the Seward Highway. In summer 2019, DOT&PF issued a maintenance contract to clear the ditches of earthquake-related rockfall, allowing subsequent rockfall to land safely off the highway and prevent rocks from bouncing into the traveled lanes. In March 2020, DOT&PF conducted emergency earthquake repairs at MP 108 and MP 110 to bring down sections fractured in the 2018 earthquake in order to prevent a future, uncontrolled rockslide. DOT&PF is planning two more efforts—one that will address four additional sites within MP 104-114 and another preliminary concept to address the hazards at MP 109.1 and MP 113.2, which would include moving the rock face away from the highway.
The construction will require lane closures and DOT&PF is asking the public for patience when traveling through the area. The public can access construction updates at AlaskaNavigator.org and road conditions at 511.Alaska.gov.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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