December 9, 2022
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The Federal Highway Administration recently issued $9 million in “quick release” emergency relief or ER funds to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

[Above photo by the Alaska Governor’s Office]

Those dollars will help offset costs for emergency repairs to roads and bridges damaged by widespread flooding along Western Alaska caused by Typhoon Merbok.

Photo by the Alaska Governor’s Office.

On September 15, Typhoon Merbok struck Western Alaska, producing hurricane-force winds, higher than normal tidal ranges, and storm surges of up to 10 feet above mean high water. This event caused wind damage, as well as, severe riverine and coastal flooding, to approximately 40 cities and villages along a roughly 1,300-mile-long section of the Western and Northwestern Alaska coastline.

FHWA said initial reporting shows damage to highway infrastructure, including a several hundred feet breach, erosion, coastal road embankment loss, and pavement loss.

“The storm surge and high winds damaged personal property, drinking water systems, airport weather equipment, fuel tanks, and both local and state roads,” noted Alaska DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson in a statement at the time.

“Our maintenance workers and airport contractors went to work before the winds died down – removing debris from our airports and roads and repairing our airport lighting systems,” he added. “We’re also working with the local communities to connect them with the state and federal resources they need to repair their local roads.”

editor@aashto.org

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