DOT begins paving on Glenn Highway earthquake repairs; bridge inspections underway

 Glenn Highway earthquake repairs near Mirror Lake (KTUU)
Glenn Highway earthquake repairs near Mirror Lake (KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Dec. 3, 2018 at 1:58 PM AKST
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Repairs to damaged state-maintained infrastructure continue after Friday’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The DOT says contractors are working hardest on eight significantly damaged areas, many located on the Glenn Highway. Because of ongoing repairs, the DOT is still asking commuters to stay off the Glenn, if possible.

If you absolutely have to travel, the same detours apply to major sites on the Glenn Highway, Eagle River, and Mirror Lake. Expect significant delays when taking these detours.

Significant progress has been made in cleanup and restructuring of damaged areas, but the hardest test is yet to come – paving these areas in cold temperatures.

The DOT says it does not usually pave in the winter because it’s harder to compact asphalt before it cools and hardens in cold temperatures. But they intend to move forward with paving regardless of the challenges.

The state began working on the Glenn Highway near the Mirror Lake sinkhole overnight and by 7:30 Monday morning was able to lay the first pavement. Even with the progress, DOT says aftershocks continue to damage the highway and the detour route is still a single lane.

There are 243 state and local bridges in the area affected by the earthquake, according to the DOT. Bridge inspectors are currently in Southcentral conducting technical inspections on each of those bridges. So far, the DOT reports no structural damage.

DOT says bridges in Alaska are specifically designed to stay standing during events like Friday’s earthquake, and even older bridges in the state have been retrofitted to improve structural stability during earthquakes.

Every DOT maintained bridge is inspected by bridge engineers at least every two years, the DOT says. When or if projects are identified, repairs are prioritized and scheduled.

For a complete list of damaged locations,

For DOT earthquake updates,

To monitor road conditions and check traffic cameras,

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