Chiniak Highway Rehabilitation

Project Detailsx

Client: Alaska DOT&PF

Location: Kodiak, AK

Year Completed: 2021


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


Project Overview x

Originally a WWII jeep trail, the Chiniak Highway has continuously evolved to be what it is today – a vibrant road along Kodiak’s shoreline that takes you past salmon streams and beaches. However, this major corridor has been riddled with ongoing issues, from rockfall to river/coastal erosion and from pavement degradation to poor roadway geometry. Today, the Chiniak Highway stretches 42 miles and winds along the shoreline of Kodiak Island.

The corridor between mileposts 15 and 31 was designated a 3R project. The scope of the rehabilitation included roadway realignment, bridge rehabilitation, embankment reconstruction, rockfall mitigation, and drainage improvements. HDL performed geotechnical investigations, identified utility conflicts, performed a traffic and safety analysis, prepared plans, specifications, and estimates, and provided public involvement.

Before beginning the design, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities determined that construction funding for the project was considerably lower than the cost of the improvements needed. As a result, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities tasked HDL with finding a defensible method to segment the corridor and prioritize improvements so that the project could be broken into three separate phases spread over multiple years.

First, HDL worked closely with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to identify the critical assets that would drive the segmentation. After reviewing the existing assets along the corridor, it was determined that bridges, pavements, unstable slopes/Geotechnical Asset Management, culverts, and roadway geometry were the critical assets to consider. Next, HDL developed a good/fair/poor rating system for each critical asset. The ratings for each critical asset along every 0.1 miles of roadway were then combined to allow for a holistic analysis of the corridor.

HDL developed a Corridor Health Index to compare different critical asset types and condition ratings, which provided a comprehensive look at the corridor. The Corridor Health Index acted as a planning tool that succinctly described and summarized the challenges and relative health of the corridor. The output of the Corridor Health Index tool is a rating that allows the user to determine which portions of a project corridor are in relatively better or worse condition and segment and scope projects accordingly.