Chiniak Highway Rehab

Project Detailsx

Client: Alaska DOT&PF

Location: Kodiak, AK

Year Completed: 2021


> Transportation Planning & Engineering
> Geotechnical Investigation & Recommendations
> Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis


Project Overview x

The Chiniak Highway has undergone significant changes since its origins as a WWII jeep trail. Today, it is a 42-mile road winding along Kodiak Island’s shoreline, offering breathtaking views of beaches and salmon streams. However, the highway has faced various ongoing issues, including rockfall, pavement degradation, river and coastal erosion, and poor roadway geometry.

To address these issues, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) designated the corridor between mileposts 15 and 31 as a 3R project. HDL was tasked with performing geotechnical investigations, identifying utility conflicts, conducting a traffic and safety analysis, and preparing plans, specifications, and estimates, as well as providing public involvement. The scope of the rehabilitation included roadway realignment, bridge rehabilitation, embankment reconstruction, rockfall mitigation, and drainage improvements.

Before starting the design, HDL faced a challenge due to insufficient construction funding. As a result, the firm had to find a method to segment the corridor and prioritize improvements so that the project could be broken into three separate phases, spread over multiple years. HDL worked closely with the DOT&PF to identify critical assets that would drive the segmentation, such as bridges, pavements, unstable slopes/Geotechnical Asset Management, culverts, and roadway geometry.

HDL developed a good/fair/poor rating system for each critical asset and combined the ratings for each critical asset along every 0.1 miles of roadway to allow for a holistic analysis of the corridor. The result was a Corridor Health Index, which served as a planning tool to summarize the challenges and relative health of the corridor. The Corridor Health Index provided a comprehensive look at the corridor, allowing the user to determine which portions of the project corridor were in relatively better or worse condition and segment and scope projects accordingly.