Estimated $24 Million Needed To Repair Nome-Council Highway

The single biggest item on Governor Parnell’s disaster declaration for the Bering Sea storm was damage to the Nome-Council Highway.  Of the $30 million in reported damages, the state department of transportation estimates $24 million will be needed to repair damage on the road from erosion and large debris. The 73 mile road heads east from Nome to the traditional seasonal camp at Council.  Engineers are now preparing for emergency work next spring to open the road, followed by several construction seasons that will be needed to bring the road back to its pre-storm condition.

Clark Milne is the DOT’s Northern Region Maintenance Engineer.   He says the serious damage begins around mile marker 22.

Repairs from the storm should be eligible for Federal Highway funding.  Nothing has been finalized, but the DOT will be working with federal engineers to plan upcoming construction seasons for rebuilding the road and making improvements.

The Governor declared a disaster last week for the Bering Sea storm.  The state is now accepting applications for disaster assistance.

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Ben Matheson is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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