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Author Topic: Alaska  (Read 2652 times)

Bickendan

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Alaska
« on: May 22, 2018, 03:01:33 PM »

While I encourage more individual threads about Alaska projects, this thread can also be used for ease of access and discussion, particularly of statewide/regional importance.
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Kniwt

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2018, 12:57:24 PM »

M7.2 (now M7.0) quake near Anchorage this morning; KFQD reports that at least one on-ramp along Minnesota Expwy. has "collapsed," but no details yet.

There's apparently also a collapse on the southbound Glenn Hwy., which is closed.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 01:34:04 PM by Kniwt »
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Alps

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 04:55:00 PM »

Mod note: non-roads related earthquake discussion is here.

oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2018, 05:44:46 PM »

Alaska DOT&PF's website has a page reporting updates on how the earthquake has and hasn't affected major roads:

http://dot.alaska.gov/earthquake2018/

Main items:

-- Seward Highway (AK 1 south of Anchorage) briefly closed several miles south of Anchorage due to rockslide, though it has since reopened. No mention of detour, so for a time there may have been no alternate route between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula

-- Glenn Highway freeway (AK 1 northeast of Anchorage) closed in at least one direction at Eagle River, detour available on local roads in Eagle River

-- One ramp of Glenn (AK 1)/Parks (AK 3) interchange closed, with detour to Palmer; other major damage to interchange

Highways more distant from Anchorage seem to be largely unaffected.

Some damage to Anchorage International Airport and closures of some roads to airport, but a reduced schedule of incoming and outgoing flights has resumed.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 05:53:14 PM by oscar »
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Bickendan

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 08:34:58 AM »

OSM intimates that closures on Minnesota Dr and AK 1 are still in effect; the link in Oscar's post updates to Dec 13. Any further updates since?
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Kniwt

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 11:29:55 AM »

Anchorage Daily News reports on the start of work to build more than 600 miles of winter roads on the North Slope -- not just for drilling and mining, but also for public use to link several isolated communities to Utqiagvik (Barrow) or the Dalton Highway.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/energy/2019/02/02/companies-stretch-frozen-roads-across-alaskas-north-slope-as-hunt-for-oil-ramps-up/

Quote
In a separate effort, the North Slope Borough plans to connect four remote communities by snow road to the state’s highway system, expanding last year’s program, officials said.

Once the snow is packed down enough, pilot vehicles will guide trucks and cars through a wintry moonscape subject to blinding whiteouts and 40-below temperatures.

The borough-maintained roads will give residents an alternative to costly flights, and access to cheap big-city stores.

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Kniwt

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 07:41:05 PM »

Anchorage Daily News has this look at building this season's 200-plus-mile ice road in and around Bethel, for use by the general public. Thanks to improved technology, there is speculation that this season's road could reach all the way to the Bering Sea.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/rural-alaska/2019/01/27/ice-road-along-kuskokwim-river-a-blessing-for-villages/

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oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 07:57:17 PM »

OSM intimates that closures on Minnesota Dr and AK 1 are still in effect; the link in Oscar's post updates to Dec 13. Any further updates since?

Alaska 511 (more reliable than OSM, IMO) shows no closures anywhere on those routes, just varying degrees of winter driving conditions (from "good" to "difficult", but mainly "fair" in the Anchorage area).
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 07:59:28 PM by oscar »
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oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 07:54:42 PM »

Alaska DOT is implementing "lighting curfews" on relatively urban segments of some major highways, to use less electricity (conversion of lights to LEDs is also in the works):

http://dot.alaska.gov/comm/pressbox/arch_2019/PR19-0017.shtml

The plan is not novel, but the term "lighting curfew" is new to me.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 09:38:11 PM »

^^^ Is this because they simply can’t afford it or are they trying to conserve to be environmentally friendly?

In either case, I am surprised we haven’t seen at attempt from any city to install a network of motion sensors along streetlights to active them as they detect movement. I don’t know how viable it would be but it doesn’t seem like it would take all that much. With the smart technology they could “talk” to each other and detect a car traveling activating lights along the cars predicted path in the sight line of the driver for safety.
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Duke87

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2019, 12:37:51 AM »

In either case, I am surprised we haven’t seen at attempt from any city to install a network of motion sensors along streetlights to active them as they detect movement. I don’t know how viable it would be but it doesn’t seem like it would take all that much. With the smart technology they could “talk” to each other and detect a car traveling activating lights along the cars predicted path in the sight line of the driver for safety.

Even with a vehicle moving at ~25 mph, the distance ahead that you want the driver to be able to see for safety is going to be greater than the range of a typical motion sensor. So this won't work without a more complex (read: more expensive) system to turn on lights further away from where motion is being detected.

As for "smart technology" and predicting the path of cars... no. Ordinary motion sensors, be they of the infrared variety or the ultrasonic variety, are not capable of determining what direction something is moving in. All they do is trigger when they detect a change in the feedback signal that exceeds a set threshold. To do something like this would require more advanced hardware and software that would be expensive... more expensive than the energy savings could justify, certainly if the lights have already been changed to LED.

You also have the issue that lights turning on and off in the driver's field of view presents a potential distraction, which of course is bad for safety.

Not to mention that street lights continually turning on and back off again over the course of the night may disrupt people's sleep.
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Kniwt

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2019, 12:45:17 AM »

Even with a vehicle moving at ~25 mph, the distance ahead that you want the driver to be able to see for safety is going to be greater than the range of a typical motion sensor. So this won't work without a more complex (read: more expensive) system to turn on lights further away from where motion is being detected.

Not that it's exactly the same thing, but part of the Union Pacific Railroad multi-use trail in Henderson NV has lighting that's activated by motion sensors. The lights aren't completely dim when nobody's around, but when a cyclist approaches at night, the next few lights get brighter until the cyclist (or, presumably, pedestrian) has passed. It works because there aren't many different paths someone can take.
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roadfro

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2019, 01:39:48 AM »

Even with a vehicle moving at ~25 mph, the distance ahead that you want the driver to be able to see for safety is going to be greater than the range of a typical motion sensor. So this won't work without a more complex (read: more expensive) system to turn on lights further away from where motion is being detected.

Not that it's exactly the same thing, but part of the Union Pacific Railroad multi-use trail in Henderson NV has lighting that's activated by motion sensors. The lights aren't completely dim when nobody's around, but when a cyclist approaches at night, the next few lights get brighter until the cyclist (or, presumably, pedestrian) has passed. It works because there aren't many different paths someone can take.
Another similarity: The University I work at has retrofit lighting in the parking garages to LED with individual motion sensors. The lights are usually dim when turned on, then each fixture brightens for a time as it individually senses motion.

With the garages at my work, the light fixtures are about 10-12 feet off the ground. I looked at a couple of spots along the above-mentioned trail in Street View, and the light poles seem to be no more than 15 feet tall. Both seem to be well in the range of typical motion detection. I'd guess an overhead motion detector on a street light fixture would be closer to 30-35 feet off the ground, which seems like it'd take a more sophisticated unit.
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Alps

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2019, 01:21:29 PM »

This is an odd tangent for Alaska but I can see this working in tandem with connected vehicles. The lights will know you're coming.

Stephane Dumas

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 02:48:52 PM »

Any recent news about the Mid-Region Access who was planned to link Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg with BC-37/Cassiar highway? http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/mid_region/index.shtml
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oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2019, 03:03:56 PM »

Any recent news about the Mid-Region Access who was planned to link Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg with BC-37/Cassiar highway? http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/mid_region/index.shtml

The state's current fiscal crisis probably means this project is even deader in the water than it already was.
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Duke87

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2019, 12:42:07 AM »

The state's current fiscal crisis probably means this project is even deader in the water than it already was.

"Than it already was"

So... is the issue that the communities in question don't necessarily want it (a la Cordova)? Or that it'd be too expensive to be worthwhile even if the state had the money?
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oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2019, 01:51:25 AM »

The state's current fiscal crisis probably means this project is even deader in the water than it already was.

"Than it already was"

So... is the issue that the communities in question don't necessarily want it (a la Cordova)? Or that it'd be too expensive to be worthwhile even if the state had the money?

More like British Columbia has been uninterested in and/or hostile to its part of the project.
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Duke87

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2019, 04:52:16 PM »

More like British Columbia has been uninterested in and/or hostile to its part of the project.

Well it'd cost them money while providing little to no benefit to them, so... that's understandable.

Wonder how many miles you could shorten the ferry ride to Juneau by for the same price tag. That'd cut BC out of the picture, thus resolving that problem.
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oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2019, 06:41:51 PM »

Wonder how many miles you could shorten the ferry ride to Juneau by for the same price tag. That'd cut BC out of the picture, thus resolving that problem.

The Federal courts have been hostile to that idea (unjustifiably, IMO), which is was a major factor in the decision to pull the plug. No telling how they'd react to a new highway to BC, especially if it logically followed a river.
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Duke87

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2019, 07:35:04 PM »

Wonder how many miles you could shorten the ferry ride to Juneau by for the same price tag. That'd cut BC out of the picture, thus resolving that problem.

The Federal courts have been hostile to that idea (unjustifiably, IMO), which is was a major factor in the decision to pull the plug. No telling how they'd react to a new highway to BC, especially if it logically followed a river.

So... point of clarity, I'm not speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Haines/Skagway. Rather, I'm speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Wrangell/Petersburg/Ketchikan.

Something like, say, building a road spanning the height of Admirality Island - that'd turn what's currently a 130 mile ferry ride to Petersburg into one 60 mile ferry ride, one short ferry ride only a few miles long, and a road between the two. Build a road on Kupreanof Island and you could get that 60 mile ferry ride down to under 15.

Was this actually considered as a potential alternative before deciding to try to build a road to BC instead?

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oscar

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2019, 07:56:13 PM »

So... point of clarity, I'm not speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Haines/Skagway. Rather, I'm speaking of the ferry ride from Juneau to Wrangell/Petersburg/Ketchikan.

Something like, say, building a road spanning the height of Admirality Island - that'd turn what's currently a 130 mile ferry ride to Petersburg into one 60 mile ferry ride, one short ferry ride only a few miles long, and a road between the two. Build a road on Kupreanof Island and you could get that 60 mile ferry ride down to under 15.

Was this actually considered as a potential alternative before deciding to try to build a road to BC instead?

Don't know. I'm not sure planning got that far along.

My hunch (not having dived into the historical records) that you have several scattered segments of AK 7 between Haines and Ketchikan (including in Juneau and Petersburg) because the original pave-the-earth-era plan was to build highways linking them together. The ends of the Petersburg AK 7 segment (especially the south end, in the middle of nowhere) kind of look like logical places for bridges from Mitkof Island to the mainland or to Kupreanof Island.
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Re: Alaska
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2019, 12:43:42 PM »

I wonder if the current ferry strikes might give second thoughts to some people?
https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/07/26/as-strike-continues-ferry-service-stoppage-has-a-big-impact-on-southeast-alaska-communities/

Quote
The Alaska Marine Highway System’s ferry network was halted for a third day Friday as hundreds of workers with the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific continued their strike over contract negotiations with the state.

Marine highway vessels “will not be sailing until further notice,” the state said on its website. By Thursday afternoon, all the state’s ferries were docked.

The shutdown has rendered unusable a crucial artery for moving people and goods around a large span of coastal Alaska. Vessels that move along the marine highway’s 3,500-mile route serve more than 35 coastal communities, many of which are not accessible by road. The ferries also carry vehicles and freight.

On Thursday, some people were trying to figure out how to get building supplies and other goods in and out of their towns, said Robert Venables, executive director of Juneau-based economic development group Southeast Conference.

“My phone and email have been blowing up since yesterday,” he said Thursday. The impact on the Southeast Alaska region is “severe, and it’s soon to be dramatically so,” he said.
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Kniwt

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 10:13:19 PM »

The Anchorage Daily News reports on a controversy over a proposed 200-mile mining road that would connect to the Dalton Highway northwest of Fairbanks:
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2019/09/11/conservationists-and-hunters-denounce-state-financed-mining-road-across-the-northern-alaska-wilderness

Quote
A state proposal to cut a roughly 200-mile mining road through the Northwest Alaska wilderness came under frequent fire at a hearing in Anchorage on Tuesday that launched a series of public meetings statewide.

Hunters condemned the proposed Ambler Road because it would be closed to the public. Conservationists said it would hurt caribou and other wildlife needed by villages in the region.

Close to 20 people spoke against the road. A few people expressed support, saying it would create jobs and state revenue.

The event, organized by the Bureau of Land Management, was the first of 22 public meetings over the next month in Alaska and Washington, D.C. Many of the meetings will be held in villages that could see significant impacts to subsistence hunting, the agency said.


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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Alaska
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2019, 09:44:43 AM »

If the road isn't going to be open to the public, then they can go pound sand, IMO.
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