Alaska crews quickly repair roadway damage from earthquake

Dec. 6, 2018

Some roads looking good as new only a few days after 7.0-magnitude quake hit the Anchorage area

Repair crews have already made substantial progress fixing the damaged roadways in Anchorage, Alaska, only a few days after a severe earthquake struck the area.

The 7.0-magnitude event shook the region on Nov. 30, leaving roadways in the area significantly cracked and impassible in many spots. But by Dec. 4—to the bewilderment of other states' residents—a number of previously impacted roadways were looking better than ever due to emergency fixes by Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF). 

One prime example of Alaska’s speedy roadwork was an Anchorage highway off-ramp at Minnesota Boulevard and International Airport Road. Alaska Tour & Travel, a vacation-planning company, posted two photos of the road on social media (shown above)—one showing it destroyed after the Nov. 30 quake and another showing it looking good as new on Dec. 4. AKDOT&PF confirmed in an update that all lanes have reopened on the ramps headed north and south.

The transportation department explained that cold-weather repairs will require crews to add chemicals while mixing asphalt to lower the temperature it can be compacted at. Crews will use asphalt at hotter temperatures, layer it thicker so it does not cool too fast and cover asphalt loads with a tarp to keep them warm. Crews also will pave non-stop, using many large rollers to speed up the process. The state said some repairs are temporary fixes, made until permanent fixes can be completed when the weather becomes warmer.


Source: The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

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