(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner Mark Luiken signed an Emergency Determination today allowing the DOT&PF to respond to the rapidly deteriorating river erosion and flooding situation on the Glenn Highway at Milepost 64 near Sutton, Alaska.
The Matanuska River has risen to flood levels near the community of Sutton due to recent rainfall and excessive glacier runoff in recent days, threatening the Glenn Highway. Approximately 50 feet of river bank has been washed away since Friday, July 24. DOT&PF hydrologists and maintenance and operations personnel assessing the site this week determined that the rising water poses a threat to the Glenn Highway.
DOT&PF personnel are issuing an emergency procurement allowing the department to hire a contractor to begin necessary construction work this week.
The work will include excavating an approximately 400 foot long trench. The trench will run parallel to the road, 30 feet from the road centerline. The trench will be filled with six to 10 feet of large armor stone, and covered with previously excavated native material. As the river moves toward the road, the buried armor stone will be exposed and protect the road embankment from the force of the river.
The construction activity will require lane closures of the highway, but the department is not expecting a full closure at this time.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 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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