(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Early Wednesday morning with the restoration of the Glenn Highway northbound and southbound lanes, essential travel routes have already been restored so normal activities can begin to resume. Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner John MacKinnon has been briefing Gov. Dunleavy on ongoing repair efforts.
“Since Friday’s earthquake, DOT&PF employees and Alaska contractors been employed by to re-establish essential transportation links tirelessly,” said Gov. Dunleavy. “Of the challenges regardless, they have focused on finding solutions in record time.”
The Friday 7.0 earthquake struck at 8:29 a.m. and caused infrastructure and property damage. The Glenn Highway Mirror Lake site was particularly difficult to correct since it was a couple of two large sink holes that encroached in to the northbound and southbound lanes. Subsequent aftershocks expanded the sloughing well into both lanes. DOT&PF is confident that the temporary repairs have already been completed will ensure the safety of the traveling public.
Winter construction is specially difficult, soils are frozen, and painting and paving is challenging. Additionally, these repairs are centered on restoring travel, year life cycle and so are not likely to have a 20, that is what the constant state expects from typical highway construction.
While the existing focus of the repair work would be to restore essential travel; the department shall pursue permanent repairs next summer. Typical summer construction has longer life cycles, including paint, paving and guardrails. The department shall continue identifying damage sites, make plan and repairs for permanent fixes.
“Because of the quick response from the elected president and Federal Highway Administration, we could actually make repairs in record time.” Said Commissioner MacKinnon. “We anticipate dealing with FHWA on better quality restoration of our infrastructure come early july.”