The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF), is upgrading a low-water creek ford crossing at Sullivan Creek by raising the grade of the road and installing new culverts.
The purpose of this project is to provide a reliable crossing and improve drainage across Sullivan Creek on Tofty Road. The current low-ford crossing presents a significant problem with ice building within the roadway (known as aufeis), making traffic passage difficult in the winter and spring.
The creek bed where it crosses Tofty Road has been flattened out by equipment and vehicles driving over it, and the flow of water in Sullivan Creek has decreased from its historic levels due to decades-old mining operations. In the summer and fall, the 16-ft wide creek widens out and slows down across the roadway, which creates a pool of standing water approximately 25-40 feet wide. In the winter and spring, this slow-moving ponded area ices up, causing overflow or aufeis to form and creating problems for travelers.
Installing new drainage features and adding several feet of gravel to the roadway will maintain the flow of the creek across the road and substantially reduce seasonal icing near the creek crossing. These enhancements will allow for improved route reliability for travelers moving between the Elliott Highway and the Road to Tanana.
We are working to install new culverts and rock drainage structures, and to build up a section of road with gravel material. Work on this project includes:
Conventional construction methods will be used to construct this project. Traffic disruptions are expected to be minimal.
Our project staff is currently working on finalizing design. Construction on this project is expected to begin in the summer or fall of 2021.