OUR CLIENTS: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Central Region

January 29, 2019

Industry: State Government

Market: Alaska

Services: Design, construction operation and maintenance of Alaska’s essential infrastructure.

Mission:Keep Alaska Moving” through service and infrastructure.

Client Since: 1975 (as Alaska Department of Highways)

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is an integral part of Alaska. The Department has been designing, constructing, operating and maintaining essential transportation infrastructure systems, buildings and other facilities throughout the state to “Keep Alaska Moving” since 1977. This include more than 5,600 miles of paved and gravel highways; more than 300 aviation facilities, including 239 airports; 21 harbors; and a ferry system covering 3,500 nautical miles serving 35 coastal communities.

One of three DOT&PF Regions, the Central Region division, headquartered in Anchorage, includes the state’s most urban areas, as well as some of the most remote villages on the Kuskokwim delta, Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Chain. This region maintains the Seward and Sterling Highways, as well as parts of the Parks and Glenn Highways.

R&M has worked with DOT&PF Central Region since 1975, when it was known as the Alaska Department of Highways. The firm has proved a wide variety of services to the Department on airport, highway, landside and other infrastructure projects.

Jim Amundsen, DOT&PF Central Regions’ Chief of Highway Design Group, has worked with R&M since 2001 when he started at the Department. He has managed numerous projects that R&M has worked on throughout the years, including the Aleknagik Wood River Bridge, Fairview Loop, Chief Eddie Hoffman Reconstruction and several projects at the Bethel Airport.

“From the beginning I’ve had projects that included R&M,” said Jim. “They have always been a solid, well-organized professional firm, based in and committed to Alaska.”

One of the longest running projects that Jim has worked on with R&M is the Aleknagik Wood River Bridge, which extended roads and constructed a new 440’ long bridge across the Wood River. The bridge connected the community of Aleknagik to the existing roadway system and created a safe link between the village and the educational, commercial and travel resources in Dillingham. R&M began work on this project in 2006, providing civil design of the roadway, survey and environmental services. The bridge officially opened to traffic in October 2015.

There were a series of challenges with the Wood River Bridge project. Challenges with the design and construction of the new road connecting the bridge to the current road systems, as well as wetlands, cultural/historic resources and environmental challenges that required lots of coordination with different agencies.

“R&M did an outstanding job of looking at the challenges and overcoming them,” said Jim. “In particular, they came up with innovative solution to ensure the cultural and historical aspects of the project weren’t affected.” Jim has also encountered R&M through his work as an adjunct professor in UAA’s School of Engineering and appreciates the commitment the firm has to hiring young Alaskan engineers.

“R&M continues to bring in young Alaskan engineers and provide them an opportunity to flourish here in Alaska,” said Jim. “I have seen a number of students come through, get picked up by R&M, and continue to grow and be very successful in the Alaskan engineering community.“

DOT&PF projects R&M is currently involved with include the Ekwok Airport Resurfacing, Seward Highway MP 100-105 Improvements, Kenai Peninsula Fall Flood Repairs, Seward Highway Left Turn Lanes (HSIP), Nanwalek/Port Graham Airport Relocation, Newtok Airport Relocation, Togiak Airport Resurfacing and many others.

“R&M has worked on a wide variety of projects and done lots of different types of work for DOT&PF,” said Jim. “They have been a solid partner and have continued to live up to that same standard of solid work through the years.”