• Long-term Stabilization of Disturbed Slopes Resulting from Construction Operations

      Perkins, Robert (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2018-03)
      Highway construction disturbs soil, which must be stabilized to prevent migration of soil particles into water bodies. Stabilization is enforced by law, regulation, and a permit system. Stabilization is most efficiently attained by reestablishment of vegetation, and permits sometimes specify this method of stabilization. Revegetation is difficult in northern Alaska, and seeded grasses often die in a year or two, while reestablishment with native vegetation takes several years. A literature search and interviews with experts indicates that simply extending this “establishment period” has many practical difficulties. Field investigations and interviews indicate that in northern Alaska little erosion occurs at slopes with failed vegetation, which implies that vegetation was not critical to reducing contamination and the expense of revegetation was unnecessary. However, when revegetation is specified in standard permit language, and contractor, owner, and regulator must close out projects, grasses are utilized. This research supports the recommendation that the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities work with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to develop special standards for projects north of the Brooks Range and between the Brooks and Alaska ranges, that recognize the low erosion potential of clean road fill – embankments.
    • Sustainable Construction in Remote Cold Regions

      Perkins, Robert (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2015-12-31)
      The goal of this project was to identify sustainable construction techniques appropriate for remote and cold regions, some of which apply to operations and maintenance as well. The vast body of literature regarding green construction in warm regions was reviewed, and information that might be applicable to cold and remote regions was ascertained. A hierarchal taxonomy was developed to categorize the information and reduce it to a form useful for presentation to engineering and construction managers. Twenty-two engineers and construction managers, all familiar with cold regions and remote projects, were interviewed, and the information and taxonomy were reviewed with them. This process resulted in a set of preliminary guidelines, which were then presented at two different meetings: one at AGC and one at the DOT, Central Region, where the preliminary guidelines were revised slightly. The final set of guidelines, approximately 160 suggestions and notes, was used to develop a module for UAF construction management classes, although it is suitable for other learning venues. The module, the Guidelines, as well as a preliminary paper are available on the CESTiCC website.