Alaska Interstate Construction LLC (AIC) is in the final stages of a $34-million renovation project of a five-mile-long segment of the Glenn Highway. The project involves realigning and reconstructing the highway between mileposts 92 and 97, adding passing lanes, replacing culverts and building a new bridge over Hicks Creek.
“This project gives the public a straighter, wider driving surface with paved shoulders, guard rails and fallout ditches to keep falling debris off the road,” said Clifton Olmstead, AIC’s Cook Inlet division manager. “This section of the Glenn will be a much safer transit route than it was before, with much less chance of hazards such as slides.”
AIC moved an estimated 2.3 million cubic yards of material to complete the project, including 1.6 million cubic yards of excavated rock. A key challenge was ensuring the stability of the rock slopes above the highway.
“When you have solid rock, you can drill and blast and it is fairly stable,” said Olmstead. “But when you have alluvial overburden and boulders over the rock, it can slide down on to the road. We had to re-slice the slopes three times before they were safe.”
AIC is currently completing final paving and striping, which will be followed by installation of the guard rails and equipment demobilization. They estimate the project will be complete by mid-August. AIC won the contract from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and began construction in April 2007.