Cold Regions Features of the Whittier Access Tunnel

by Douglas M. Slakey, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade &, Douglas Inc, San Francisco, CA,
Stephen J. Klein, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade &, Douglas Inc, San Francisco, CA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


A feasibility study and cost estimate has been prepared for a vehicular tunnel which would form a portion of a highway between the town of Whittier, Alaska and the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. Tunnel alternatives examined include two-lane tunnel alternatives and innovative one-lane alternatives which utilize alternating traffic flows. The one-lane tunnel alternatives appear to provide adequate capacity for the projected traffic volume at a lower cost. Significant problems addressed in the feasibility study include icing in the tunnel from water draining from the rock mass into the tunnel; potential avalanches at the tunnel portals; and the effect of the severe wind climate at the site on ventilation air intakes and traffic operations.

Subject Headings: Air traffic | Tunnels | Traffic flow | Traffic capacity | Water intakes | Rock masses | Traffic analysis | Snow | Alaska | United States

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