• Permafrost Database Development, Characterization, and Mapping for Northern Alaska

      Jorgenson, M. Torre; Kanevskiy, Mikhail; Shur, Yuri; Grunblatt, Jess; Ping, Chien-Lu; Michaelson, Gary (2014-10-31)
    • Phase II: Chulitna River Bridge Structurally Health Monitoring

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Dolan, J. Daniel (2015-01)
      This study is phase 2 of a two phase research project. In Phase 1 a structural health monitoring system (SHMS) was installed on the Chulitna River Bridge. This bridge is 790 feet long, 42 foot 2 inches wide and has 5 spans. As part of that effort, three loaded dump trucks were used to conduct seventeen static and dynamic loadings on the structure. In addition to studying the bridge using SHMS, two ambient free vibration tests were conducted a year apart by. In 1993, the deck on this 1970 five span bridge was widened from 34-feet to a 42 foot 2 inch concrete deck. Increased load was accounted for by strengthening two variable depth exterior girders and converting interior stringers to interior truss girders. Construction documents for the upgrade called for stage construction. At the time of this study, the bridge had five bearings that were not in contact with the superstructure. Feasibility of using Structural Health Monitoring Systems (SHMS) for Alaska Highway Bridges was examined. Also, SHMS data for the load tests of Phase 1 were used to calibrate a three-dimensional model (FEM) to predict response and conduct a 2014 Operating Load Rating.
    • Pilot Plant Studies and Process Design for the Production of Calcim-Magnesium Acetate

      Ostermann, R.D.; Economides, M.J. (1985-11)
      Chloride salts are commonly used as deicing chemicals in many northern states. These chemicals are corrosive to automobiles, bridge decks and other public structures, and cause considerable damage to plants found near salted roadways. Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) offers potential as an alternate deicing chemical. CMA is a generic term applied to the reaction product of acetic acid and limestone. It is non-corrosive and has no known potential to cause environmental damage. During 1982-194, over 12,000 gallons of saturated CMA solution were produced by researchers in the Petroleum Engineering Department of the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. The raw materials were acetic acid, hydrated lime and native limestone. The product CMA solution was used in road tests in Fairbanks as well as for environmental studies. The results of these pilot plant studies is presented in this report. A process design for the production of 12,000 GPD of CMA from native limestone based on the results of the pilot plant studies is presented. For a grass-roots operation located in Fairbanks, the total capital cost is estimated at $215,000, including site and structure costs. Using current prices for acetic acid, limestone and hydrated lime, a product price of $413 per ton (dry CMA equivalent) is required for a 15% annual rate of return. It should be noted that raw materials costs amount to over 85% of the annual operating costs with capital cost amortization amounting to only 2% of the product cost. The process economics are thus relatively insensitive to changes in capital costs due to process design changes. Moreover, acetic acid cost alone accounts for 70% of the product price. The key to reducing the price of CMA lies in obtaining inexpensive acetic acid.
    • Preliminary Design and Feasibility Study for a Calcium-Magnesium Acetate Unit

      Economides, M. J.; Ostermann, R. D. (1982-07)
      The adverse environmental effects and corrosion problems associated with the use of chloride salts as de-icing agents have prompted a search for alternative de-icing compounds. Calcium and Magnesium Acetates (CMA) exhibit excellent de-icing characteristics yet are not corrosive or harmful to the environment. A viable process design for the production of CMA has been developed based on the results of a series of kinetic reaction experiments conducted at the University of Alaska. Acetic acid and native Alaskan limestones were used as the raw materials. An economic evaluation of the process indicates a selling price of less than $600/ton of solid CMA, based on teh production of a saturated, aqueous CMA solution in small scale facilities (10,000 - 50,000 gallons/day). At the upper range of production rates studied (50,000 GPD) and for an acetic acid cost of $1.25/gallon, the calculated CMA price was $290/ton of solid. This represents a minimum price and is attractive when compared with the cost of other de-icing compounds. The results of this cooperative project between the Petroleum Engineering Department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and the State D.O.T. are highly encouraging. With the use of native Alaskan limestone and acetic acid, the process economics point toward a high quality, competitively priced product. The environmental advantages of CMA over Chloride salts and reduced secondary costs due to lower corrosion rates for vehicles and bridges indicate that CMA may become the premier de-icing agent.
    • Preliminary Study on Snowplow Survivability of Guardrail Terminals

      Ma, Zhongguo (John); Mattingly, Steven P. (2000-08-01)
      FHWA has asked Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to fix damaged longitudinal and end sections of guardrail throughout Alaska's road system. The proposed research evaluates W-beam guardrail end terminals (GET) which are installed along roads in heavy-snow areas of Alaska. Primarily, it is important for DOT&PF to determine how well GET withstand loads generated during snow plowing and blowing operations. Based on this preliminary study, the following conclusions are made (1) Anecdotal evidence indicates that the newly installed SRT-350s are not very forgiving (because they are designed to be crash-friendly), and relatively minor contact between the snow removal equipment and the terminal may result in terminal failure and at least some damage. (2) There are two types of damage to the newly installed SRT-350s; (a) damage due to contact between the snow removal equipment and the terminal; and (b) damage resulting from the pressure of the snow (snow-only contact). The first type is the most likely damage observed in field visits. The damage due to snow-only contact can occur in heavy snow area. (3) Except in heavy snow area, the average replacement rate for newly installed SRT-350s can be reduced to about the same level as the traditional BCTs if the snowplow operator learn to respect the new terminals more and provide them with a wide berth. To achieve this, it is very important to mark the end of the terminal as well as the beginning of the flare of the terminal. With both locations marked, an operator can carefully avoid the entire length of the terminal. (4) Further research is needed to investigate guardrail end terminals which are more durable or are easily repaired.
    • Product Evaluation: Presto Roadbase Sand Confinement Grid

      Coetzee, Nicolaas F. (1983-06)
      The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is continuously looking for methods of using marginal soils for roadway and airport embankments. In areas such as the Western coast of Alaska, where quality materials must be imported and therefore are prohibitively expensive, the use of native soils represents a significant cost savings to the State. The Army Corps of Engineer Experimental Waterways Station has developed a method of stabilizing sand using a plastic grid system. This report analyzes the system for use in Western Alaska using a finite element analysis and the Chev5L computer program. These analysis indicate that the grid system is at least equal to 6 inches of crushed aggregate. The bearing capacity of the sand is greatly enhanced since lateral displacement is eliminated. Although additional work is still required, it is expected that the sand grid system discussed in this report will ultimately result in a significant cost savings in embankment construction in Western Alaska
    • Quarterly Report 1: Progress on Evaluation of WTC7 Collapse

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Quan, Zhili (2015-10)
    • Quarterly Report 2: Progress on Evaluation of WTC7 Collapse

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Quan, Zhili (2016-03)
    • Quarterly Report 3: Progress on Evaluation of WTC7 Collapse

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Quan, Zhili (2016-11)
    • Radon Concentrations in Public Facilities in Alaska

      Leonard, Shelby J.; Hawkins, Daniel B.; Tilsworth, Timothy (1987-07)
      Radon levels were measured in forty public facilities throughout Alaska. Test buildings consisted mainly of schools, DOT/PF maintenance garages, and office buildings. The project had two general goals: 1) To determine whether areas of potentially high indoor radon levels can be identified based on knowledge of the bedrock geology in the area, and 2) to determine if there is cause for concern regarding radon levels in public facilities in Alaska. Radon levels measured ranged from 0.0 to 5.2 pCi/l with a mean value of 0.6 pCi/l. No conclusive evidence was found correlating radon concentration with the geology of an area. The data suggest no urgency regarding radon levels in public facilities in Alaska, especially where mechanical ventilation and positive building pressure influence the dispersion of concentrations. However, the small size of the sample and the fact that most of the buildings sampled were mechanically ventilated does not rule out the possibility that higher radon levels may yet be found.
    • Radon Survey in the Hills Surrounding Fairbanks, Alaska

      Hawkins, Daniel B.; Leonard, Shelby J. (1987-08)
    • Report Supplement: Thermal and Cost Analysis of Thermal Envelopes for a Small Rural School

      Zarling, John; Strandberg, James S.; Maynard and Partch; HMS, Inc. (1983-01)
    • Retrofit Design of Drainage Structures for Improved Fish Passage: Literature Review

      Blevins, Vanessa; Carlson, Robert F. (1988-06)
      This report reviews existing literature on issues relevant to retrofitting culverts to mitigate fish passage barriers. The analysis of this information will set the stage for future laboratory experimentation on various retrofitting techniques. The topics in this report include a review of fish swimming capabilities, hydrologic factors involved in choosing a design flow, fish passage problems resulting from conventional culvert design, and potential retrofit solutions to these problems.
    • Review of Power Sources for Alaska DOT&PF Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS): Phase I

      Wies, Richard (2014-08)
      This report documents the findings related to a review of power sources for six off-grid Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) in Alaska. Various power sources were reviewed as a means of reliably operating the off-grid RWIS sites throughout the year. Based on information collected on current power sources and equipment used at the off-grid RWIS sites, and visits to off-grid installations in Alaska, some viable methods of reliable operation were discovered. Power sources included in the study were solar photovoltaics (PV), small wind turbines, fuel cells, and thermoelectric generators, all charging a battery bank which powers the weather sensors, cameras, and communication equipment. The results showed that while solar PV provides enough standalone power to keep the sites operational from early spring to late fall with wind supplementing this somewhat during the transition seasons, a fossil fuel based source is necessary to maintain operation through the winter. These findings suggest that a combination of power sources is required for reliable RWIS operation throughout the year and is dependent on the location of the site.
    • Rural Alaska Electric Power Quality

      Aspnes, J.D. (1984-03)
      Poor quality electric power has traditionally been blamed for electrical and electronic equipment malfunctions and failures in rural Alaskan communities. This report presents results of a recently completed project in which power system disturbance analyzers provide the first comprehensive power quality data from Alaskan villages. Power systems of four widely separated communities were studied for a total of 1,010 days. These results are important because of the trend in rural Alaska toward more sophisticated equipment that is sensitive to power system disturbances. These data represent a first step in developing appropriate countermeasures to protect electrical systems connected to isolated rural 60 Hz power generator facilities
    • Rural Electric Power Quality Analysis Data Base Development

      Aspnes, J.; Merritt, R.; Spell, B.D.; Woodruff, K.; Alden, D.; Mulligan, G. (1987-03)
      The actual cost of poor quality electric power is difficult to accurately determine. Such cost information is important in determining the extent to which power quality enhancement techniques should be applied. This report presents data compiled to help determine the quantity and type of electrical and electronic equipment at risk in rural Alaska and the repair frequency of this equipment. Cost attributable to poor electric power quality are identified. Methods of electric power quality improvement and their relative costs are presented.
    • Rural Facility Electric Power Quality Analysis

      Aspnes, J.D.; Zhao, Y. Q.; Spell, B.D.; Merrit, R.P. (1991-03)
      This report gives results of a recently completed data collection and analysis project investigating electric power quality of two isolated utility systems in Alaska. This is the second phase of a similar effort reported in 1984 which provided the first comprehensive power quality data from four small Alaskan communities. In this report, second generation instrumentation is described and comprehensive data and data analyses are presented. These data are important because of the increased use throughout Alaska of electrical and electronic equipment that may be damage by power system disturbances.
    • Rural Facility Electric Power Quality Enhancement

      Wilson, M.; Aspnes, J.D.; Merritt, R.P.; Spell, B.D. (1991-05)
      Electric power disturbances are known to be more prevalent in small, isolated power systems than in larger interconnected grids which service most of the United States. This fact has given rise to a growing concern about the relative merits of different types of power conditioning equipment and their effectiveness in protecting sensitive electronics and essential loads in rural Alaska. A study has been conducted which compares isolation transformers, voltage regulators, power conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies and indoor computer surge suppressors in their ability to suppress the various disturbances which have been measured in several Alaskan communities. These include voltage sags and surges, impulses, blackouts, frequency variations and long-term voltage abnormalities. In addition, the devices were also subjected to fast, high-magnitude impulses such as might be expected in the event of a lightning strike to or near utility distribution equipment. The solutions for power line problems will vary for different load applications and for different rural electrical environments. The information presented in this report should prove to be valuable in making the analysis.