Point Lay Permafrost

Project Detailsx

Client: North Slope Borough

Location: Point Lay, AK

Year Completed: 2020


> Geotechnical Investigation
> Geotechnical Drilling
> Permafrost Evaluation


Project Overviewx

Point Lay is a small community in the North Slope Borough that is facing a significant challenge with its buried utilities, particularly the water and sewer lines. The town’s permafrost conditions are deteriorating, causing significant failures in the infrastructure, which has left many homes without water and sewer services. The thaw-unstable high-centered polygons in Point Lay have caused the settlement of the water and sewer main and collector lines, which has led to frequent service interruptions.

To address this ongoing issue, HDL stepped in and evaluated the permafrost. The team worked closely with the community to refine the surface investigation to critical, representative areas. This collaborative approach helped to identify key problem areas that needed immediate attention.

HDL’s team of experts used innovative methods to assess the soil and temperature conditions in permafrost. In addition, to reduce project costs, the team employed an in-house portable drill system to conduct this assessment. This approach proved to be much more cost effective than traditional drilling methods. Furthermore, while in Point Lay, the field team quickly adapted methodologies to project challenges, incorporating a power pole drill rig already present in the community and employing a local operator to run the drill rig.

The team’s efforts helped them to develop recommendations to improve the water and sewer systems in Point Lay. The team’s proposed solutions were informed by the information gathered from the community and the critical areas identified during the surface investigation. The proposed solutions are tailored to address the unique challenges posed by the permafrost conditions in the town.

HDL’s commitment to delivering results that positively impact communities is demonstrated through this project. The use of innovative, cost-effective approaches showcases HDL’s dedication to providing solutions that are both efficient and effective. The team’s efforts will go a long way in ensuring the provision of critical services to homes in Point Lay.