Point Hope Erosion Mitigation
Location: Point Hope, AK
> Geotechnical Investigation & Design Recommendation
> Environmental Services & Permitting
The remote community of Point Hope faces significant challenges due to its vulnerability to storm surge flooding and erosion. This vulnerability has resulted in the community’s single-lane road to their water source experiencing frequent flooding, requiring continual repairs. Recognizing the need for a sustainable solution, HDL has been providing engineering services related to coastal erosion in Point Hope since 2006.
HDL’s efforts to identify viable material sources in the region began in 2007, and since then, the team has been working to assist the community in finding quality aggregate. The Point Hope Coastal Erosion Mitigation project aims to create an inland egress to ensure the village has continued access to water, gravel sources, and terrestrial subsistence foods during significant flood events.
One of the critical requirements for this project is the need for quality aggregate for armor rock (riprap) to protect existing infrastructure from erosion. Additionally, gravel sources are vital for building roads, pads, and other related civil projects. Unfortunately, the naturally occurring aggregate surrounding the village is unsuitable for use as riprap, presenting significant constructability issues for other civil projects. Moreover, importing aggregate from afar is incredibly expensive due to Point Hope’s remote location.
To address this challenge, HDL built upon existing data and past reconnaissance to inform and refine the evaluation of potential material sources. Due to the region’s harsh climate and remote location, drilling is costly, so HDL conducted a geophysical survey using seismic refraction to evaluate four sites previously identified as potential aggregate sources. The geophysical survey provided valuable insights that allowed HDL to provide location recommendations with the highest potential for producing a significant amount of quality aggregate.
Despite facing harsh winter conditions, HDL safely completed drilling at the selected site 20 miles outside the village without the added expense of a helicopter.
HDL’s careful phasing of the project provided the North Slope Borough (NSB) with a cost-effective evaluation of potential material sources in Point Hope. The data and recommendations provided by HDL may result in future material source development, which would provide Point Hope and other NSB communities with a local source of quality aggregate.