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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2016
No.: 16-1029
Contact: Shannon McCarthy, (907) 269-0448, shannon.mccarthy@alaska.gov

Whittier Tunnel Remains Closed Until Further Notice

UPDATE: 10/28/16 - The Whittier Tunnel has re-opened and is operating on the normal schedule. tunnel.alaska.gov

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) –The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, also known as the Whittier Tunnel, remains closed until further notice due to a rock fall hazard inside the tunnel. The tunnel was closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25.

A geologist with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) has inspected the tunnel and has recommended the removal of loose rock and additional stabilization of the remaining rock in the area where the hazard exists. This will require the installation of rock bolts and high tension mesh. ADOT&PF has contracted with Advanced Blasting to perform the required repairs.

The contractor will be on site today to begin stabilization work immediately. Once stabilization work is complete, the department will escort one-lane of traffic through the tunnel, both in and out of Whittier. The time for this escort is not yet set, and depends on the completion of the stabilization work.

The tunnel will remain closed to regular traffic Wednesday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Oct. 27 to allow the contractor to complete the work. More information about a possible reopening will be provided as repairs progress and new information becomes available.

Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry FVF Fairweather sailings for Thursday, Oct. 27 have been revised. The ferry’s scheduled sailing to Whittier has been canceled. The ferry will now sail Cordova - Valdez - Cordova. AMHS staff is contacting affected passengers. The revised schedule may be found online at FerryAlaska.com.

Updates and additional information may be found online at tunnel.alaska.gov. State maintained road conditions and road closures can also be found online at 511.alaska.gov

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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