Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/07/2019 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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Audio Topic
01:31:48 PM Start
01:32:19 PM Presentation(s): Impact of Earthquake on Transportation
03:07:48 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: TELECONFERENCED
Impact of Earthquake on Transportation by
Dr. Mike West, State Seismologist;
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities:
Dave Kemp, Central Regional Director & Chris
Hodgin, Facilities Services Project Manager
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                        February 7, 2019                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Shower, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  IMPACT OF EARTHQUAKE ON TRANSPORTATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. MICHAEL WEST, State Seismologist and Research Professor                                                                     
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Participated in the presentation, "Impact of                                                              
Earthquake on Transportation."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DAVE KEMP, Central Regional Director                                                                                            
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF)                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Participated in the presentation, "Impact of                                                              
Earthquake on Transportation."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS HODGIN, Facilities Services Project Manager                                                                               
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF)                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Participated in the presentation, "Impact of                                                              
Earthquake on Transportation."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
RICH PRATT, Chief Bridge Engineer                                                                                               
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF)                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:   Answered   questions   related   to   the                                                             
presentation, "Impact of Earthquake on Transportation."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARK DAVIS, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Facilities Services                                                                                                 
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF)                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:   Answered   questions   related   to   the                                                             
presentation, "Impact of Earthquake on Transportation."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:31:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHELLEY  HUGHES called  the Senate  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:31  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Kiehl, and  Chair Hughes.  Senator Micciche                                                               
arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  Impact of Earthquake on Transportation                                                                       
    PRESENTATION(S):  Impact of Earthquake on Transportation                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:32:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  stated that the only  order of business would  be a                                                               
presentation on the November 30  earthquake, how it happened, how                                                               
it  was  monitored,   and  how  it  impacted   roads  and  public                                                               
facilities. She invited Dr. West to begin his presentation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:33:01 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  MICHAEL WEST,  State  Seismologist  and Research  Professor,                                                               
University of  Alaska Fairbanks,  Fairbanks, said he  directs the                                                               
Alaska Earthquake Center  (AEC) that is most known  for its rapid                                                               
assessment of earthquakes and the  basic parameters such as where                                                               
they  occur, how  large  it was,  and the  extent  of the  ground                                                               
shaking. Anyone  who has visited  coastal communities  has likely                                                               
seen  evacuation signs  or signs  that  map the  hazard zone  for                                                               
tsunamis. Those  are installed on  safe zones  determined through                                                               
research  and products  also  put out  by  the Alaska  Earthquake                                                               
Center.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if the  Alaska Earthquake Center puts out both                                                               
the  initial  and  the  subsequent,  more  finely  tuned,  report                                                               
following an earthquake that is available through a phone app.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST replied, "those are a  glimpse into our workings of what                                                               
we  do."  He  explained  that  when  an  earthquake  begins,  the                                                               
recordings come in  from a number of different  locations and are                                                               
put  together for  an initial  assessment. As  more data  becomes                                                               
available,  AEC's  assessment  of   the  magnitude  and  location                                                               
changes. He  acknowledged that can sometimes  cause consternation                                                               
but that's  because the information  is disseminated  so quickly.                                                               
Information in generated through  computer algorithms and it goes                                                               
out within  a couple of minutes,  before it's been reviewed  by a                                                               
human. As an analysist goes through  and adds and removes data it                                                               
evolves.  For larger  earthquakes like  the one  on November  30,                                                               
there can be some debate that  can extend days or weeks after the                                                               
earthquake. He  said magnitude is  the best assessment and  it is                                                               
dependent on the available data.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:36:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE joined the committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if the  last earthquake was magnitude  7.1 or                                                               
7.2.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST replied  there  continues to  be  a vibrant  discussion                                                               
among agencies  that worked on  this earthquake about  whether it                                                               
was  magnitude 7.0  and  7.1.  And there's  still  a chance  that                                                               
assessment could be revised.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  said a third  take away  from the earthquake  center is                                                               
the  research  to explain  where  and  why different  earthquakes                                                               
happen.  He displayed  a map  on slide  4 that  shows the  55,000                                                               
seismic events  in Alaska that  were large enough to  be reported                                                               
in 2018.  He said most  of the events  were very small,  but they                                                               
paint a picture. Some of  the earthquakes were the usual suspects                                                               
while  others,  like the  January  magnitude  7.5 earthquake  off                                                               
Kodiak,  are  not  anticipated.   When  this  happens,  there  is                                                               
considerable research and  analysis to put it  in perspective and                                                               
specifically figure out what it means for the future.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He explained that  the data from the past few  slides are used to                                                               
develop building  codes and the environmental  review process for                                                               
any  major projects.  They also  help determine  insurance rates,                                                               
evacuation  routes,  and  where  shelters should  be  in  coastal                                                               
community.  He  advised that  any  community  that has  a  hazard                                                               
mitigation  plan   likely  includes  a  seismic   and/or  tsunami                                                               
component.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:38:48 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  WEST directed  attention to  AS 14.40.075  to show  that the                                                               
legislature's  directive  sets  the  Alaska  Earthquake  Center's                                                               
general  direction   and  responsibility  to  report   under  the                                                               
leadership  of  a state  seismologist,  a  role he  is  currently                                                               
filling. He  related that  he pointed this  out because  he hopes                                                               
the  legislature  will view  the  earthquake  center as  a  state                                                               
resource.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He  displayed  a  map  that   shows  the  network  of  about  150                                                               
monitoring stations throughout the state.  He said AEC operates a                                                               
majority of  the stations,  but they also  have some  partners in                                                               
this activity.  He explained  that when  a seismic  event occurs,                                                               
the recordings from  each of the sites stream data  live into the                                                               
headquarters  in  Fairbanks  where  it  is  assimilated  into  an                                                               
earthquake  report.  He displayed  a  slide  depicting a  typical                                                               
seismic station with a power system,  sensor in the ground, and a                                                               
radio that communicates data back  live. He noted that continuous                                                               
communication  is  a technical  challenge  during  winter on  the                                                               
North  Slope,  coastal  storms,  or in  the  Aleutians,  but  the                                                               
engineering  to keep  things  running is  something  AEC is  most                                                               
proud of.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  related that he  views the earthquake center  as taking                                                               
the pulse of Alaska, because anything  that moves the ground in a                                                               
significant way is  reflected in the data that  rolls through the                                                               
center. He  displayed an example of  40 minutes of the  data that                                                               
was recorded  later in the  morning of November 30.  He explained                                                               
that  each of  the  lines is  a station  that  recorded about  50                                                               
aftershocks in that brief snapshot  of time. It is the foundation                                                               
of what AEC does, he said.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:41:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  why aftershocks  are identified  as such                                                               
instead   of  either   another  earthquake   or  one   continuous                                                               
earthquake until things settle down.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  clarified that  an aftershock is  no different  than an                                                               
ordinary earthquake.  However, when  a large  earthquake happens,                                                               
the earth  has to  adjust to  the new  position and  that process                                                               
breeds  many more,  but generally  smaller, earthquakes.  Because                                                               
they're  traceable  back to  the  original  earthquake, they  are                                                               
referred to as aftershocks.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE   asked  if  aftershocks  are   ever  a  larger                                                               
magnitude than the original event.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST said  yes. He  advised that  when an  earthquake occurs                                                               
there is always a small  statistical chance that it would trigger                                                               
a larger quake. Globally, the chance  of that happening is one to                                                               
five percent, although it varies  depending on the location. "You                                                               
have to look around and  say, 'Well is there something reasonable                                                               
that may be triggered by this.'"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  noted that  after  she  downloaded the  earthquake                                                               
application,  she learned  of a  7.0-7.2 magnitude  quake in  the                                                               
South Pacific that was followed  by 7.9 magnitude earthquake. She                                                               
acknowledged that  knowing that was  a possibility made  her more                                                               
nervous.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  stressed that even  before the November  30 earthquake,                                                               
AEC  knew  there  was potential  for  something  larger,  whether                                                               
triggered or not.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:44:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked  who AEC partners with  to monitor earthquake                                                               
activity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  replied the Alaska Volcano  Observatory has significant                                                               
instrumentation in  the Aleutians, the Alaska  Tsunami Center has                                                               
a handful of  sites around the state, the  U.S. Geological Survey                                                               
has a  couple of sensors,  and the Canadians are  close partners.                                                               
He turned to slide 11 and  noted that Alyeska is just one example                                                               
of  a  group that  uses  the  seismic  data to  prioritize  where                                                               
engineering  resources  and  inspections should  be  focused  and                                                               
where there is little risk.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He said  AEC has  answered a  lot of  questions (like  those that                                                               
have come  up today) over  the last several  weeks to try  to put                                                               
perspective  on  the November  30  earthquake.  He noted  that  a                                                               
recurring question has been whether  that was a worse-case event.                                                               
The answer  is that  it was a  learning experience,  but Alaska's                                                               
history  makes it  clear that  it was  by no  means a  worse-case                                                               
event.  While  statistically  not  common,  the  1964  earthquake                                                               
demonstrates  the   other  kinds   of  earthquakes  that   are  a                                                               
possibility. The  lesson, he  said, is  that the  next earthquake                                                               
will undoubtedly look different and be a surprise in some way.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked him to  talk about why  the damage can  be so                                                               
great  in one  location, but  there can  be almost  no damage  in                                                               
nearby locations. She pointed to  slide 12 that depicts a section                                                               
of  highway that  was extensively  damaged yet  a mile  down that                                                               
road there was almost no damage.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST advised  that zooming  out on  that picture  would show                                                               
miles  of road  that  were minimally  impacted.  Soil factors  in                                                               
particular places  led to different  results. The  experience was                                                               
the  same   in  different  neighborhood   where  the   soils  and                                                               
underlying  geology   is  different   and  the  response   to  an                                                               
earthquake is different.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  characterized it as  the difference between  a bowl                                                               
of Jell-O and a  bowl of ice cream. The shaking  is the same, but                                                               
the Jell-O will jiggle more.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  added that  this earthquake  occurred 30  miles beneath                                                               
the  surface and  while everywhere  from Anchorage  to Palmer  to                                                               
Wasilla  to  Willow  experienced   the  same  basic  forces,  the                                                               
differences in impact was largely  a result of the differences in                                                               
geology.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He  reported that  another question  that has  come up  a lot  is                                                               
whether there  is the  potential for this  to occur  elsewhere in                                                               
the  state.  He  said  the  historical  record  provides  a  good                                                               
foundation  to  address  the  question.  Southeast  is  certainly                                                               
capable of earthquakes of this  magnitude, but the majority occur                                                               
out towards the  coast. There is plenty of  history for magnitude                                                               
7.0 earthquakes in the Interior,  but they are less frequent than                                                               
in South Central.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:58 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. WEST turned  to slide 14 that responds  to Senator Micciche's                                                               
earlier question about the distinction  between an aftershock and                                                               
other earthquakes. Based  on the last two  months of aftershocks,                                                               
AEC  anticipates  that  about  a   year  from  now  the  rate  of                                                               
aftershocks  will  be  low  enough   that  it  will  be  hard  to                                                               
distinguish between  an aftershock  and the  customary background                                                               
earthquakes. He acknowledged that that projection can change.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  said Eagle  River,  Palmer, Wasilla,  and Willow  experienced                                                               
roughly the same  amount of shaking. But because  Eagle River had                                                               
disproportionately high  damage compared to the  other places, it                                                               
was  necessary  to look  at  factors  other than  the  earthquake                                                               
itself.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE asked  if there was white  paper on earthquakes,                                                               
and  if there  are earthquake  categories that  make Alaska  more                                                               
earthquake prone.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST offered  to provide resources after the  hearing to help                                                               
explain why Alaska is more earthquake prone.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   HUGHES  noted   that  the   presentation  earlier   today                                                               
highlighted that  some schools suffered significant  damage while                                                               
others had  very light  damage. The takeaway  was that  the soils                                                               
and geology  as well as  how and  when the structures  were built                                                               
are all  factors. She, too,  asked for follow-up  information and                                                               
any  available research  to help  understand  the variability  in                                                               
damage  suffered in  the November  30 earthquake  and to  be more                                                               
prepared going forward.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST responded  that if there is a silver  lining to an event                                                               
like  the November  30 earthquake,  it  is that  it presents  the                                                               
opportunity to do  that research. "We don't get a  lot of chances                                                               
to examine the  societal impacts of an earthquake  like this," he                                                               
said.  That earthquake  generated tremendous  interest nationally                                                               
and  internationally, particularly  in the  engineering world.  A                                                               
number of  teams came in motivated  by the desire to  help assess                                                               
which buildings  were and  were not safe  and the  opportunity to                                                               
learn  from the  event. This  is how  building codes  advance. He                                                               
confirmed  that significant  research  is ongoing,  and the  work                                                               
will continue for years.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:57:09 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. WEST  turned to slide  17. It is a  map of Alaska  that shows                                                               
the  monitoring  network  through   the  state  depicted  by  the                                                               
scattered white  triangles. A  map of  California is  overlaid on                                                               
Western    Alaska   that    shows    the   highly    concentrated                                                               
instrumentation  in that  state.  He  said he  likens  it to  the                                                               
difference between doing astronomy  with a Hubble Space Telescope                                                               
versus a  pair of binoculars. He  said the next slide  provides a                                                               
concrete  example.  This brief  introduction  to  the concept  of                                                               
earthquake early  warning is an  operational reality  in Southern                                                               
California and is in testing across  the entire West Coast of the                                                               
U.S. -  Washington, Oregon,  and California,  he said.  The basic                                                               
premise is  that if detection  is early  enough to warn  ahead of                                                               
the seismic waves, people will receive some advance notice.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  him to  clarify that  in this  instance, the                                                               
western coast of the U.S. does not include Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  confirmed that Alaska  is not  part of that  system. He                                                               
continued to say that  he uses this as an example  of the kind of                                                               
federal initiative  occurring in  the nation  that Alaska  is not                                                               
part of because of a lack of  foundation on which to build such a                                                               
thing.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES pointed out that this  is despite the fact that four                                                               
out of five earthquakes that occur are in Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST agreed;  the pie  chart on  slide 16  demonstrates that                                                               
four out of five earthquakes in the U.S. occur in Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  where you  put your  money; in  an early                                                               
warning  system  that  might provide  10-15  seconds  of  advance                                                               
warning or in better engineering  for structures and other safety                                                               
precautions that are beneficial.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST responded it's an excellent question.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He displayed  slides 19 and  20 that show the  monitoring network                                                               
throughout  Alaska. He  pointed  to the  yellow  and orange  dots                                                               
throughout the  state and explained  they are part of  a massive,                                                               
temporary deployment by the National  Science Foundation. It is a                                                               
3-4  year   experiment  recording   high  resolution   data.  The                                                               
earthquake  center  and  the  state   have  been  the  tremendous                                                               
beneficiary of  this experiment,  but it all  goes away  in 2020.                                                               
All the instrumentation  represented by the dots  will be removed                                                               
and the  state will revert to  the monitoring system it's  had in                                                               
the past. Responding  to a question from the  chair, he confirmed                                                               
that  the red  dots,  which  have built  over  the  years by  the                                                               
earthquake center and others, would remain.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL asked  if  this  means he'll  get  fewer and  less                                                               
reliable tweets from the earthquake center.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  replied there will  be fewer and less  reliable tsunami                                                               
warnings,  less reliable  tweets, more  jitter in  the magnitude,                                                               
less clarity  in the  information, and  less resolution  in where                                                               
the shaking was and was not strong.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  advised that  in an earlier  meeting Dr.  West said                                                               
the National  Science Foundation  has run this  experiment across                                                               
the U.S.  and a  number of  states have  elected to  purchase and                                                               
retain the monitors  in their states. She said that  is an option                                                               
for Alaska  and Dr. West has  been working on it  with the Alaska                                                               
delegation.  She  asked him  to  talk  about  the fact  that  the                                                               
federal  government is  more focused  on  the Lower  48 and  that                                                               
Alaska is a bit "behind the 8 ball" regarding monitors.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST offered  his perspective  that on  the national  level,                                                               
Alaska  is often  treated  as  a backwater.  Alaska  has a  lower                                                               
population  and doesn't  fit the  national  mold in  a number  of                                                               
ways. He said  he's quite comfortable saying that  there has been                                                               
a  decades  long,  chronic  lack of  federal  investment  in  the                                                               
earthquake monitoring system in Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES   asked  him  to   update  the  committee   on  the                                                               
conversations he's  had with  the congressional  delegation about                                                               
retaining the instrumentation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  explained that  for the last  few years  the university                                                               
has had  a significant  initiative to retain  about half  of this                                                               
federal instrumentation network. Engagement  at the federal level                                                               
has been  excellent and has  included initial funds  from various                                                               
federal   agencies.   He   emphasized  that   the   congressional                                                               
delegation has  been outstanding  in its  support. There  is real                                                               
potential  to  sustain  this  facility  for  long-term  operation                                                               
through the support  of multiple federal agencies  that are using                                                               
this data live today, he said.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if  he agrees that  another silver  lining of                                                               
the  November 30  earthquake  is an  increased  awareness at  the                                                               
federal level.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST   replied  that  particular  earthquake   ought  to  be                                                               
instrumental in helping  build the case but  between the holidays                                                               
and  the federal  shutdown there  has not  been much  interaction                                                               
with their  federal partners. However,  a day doesn't go  by that                                                               
there  aren't   high-level  discussions  with  NOAA,   USGS,  the                                                               
National Science Foundation, and others, he said.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST  noted  that  a capital  request  in  the  university's                                                               
budget,  that  predates  the  November  30  earthquake,  includes                                                               
starter funds to retain some of the federal monitors.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:06:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  asked  if  there   are  about  185  monitoring                                                               
stations currently in Alaska.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST agreed  and added  that  retaining 80  sites would  put                                                               
Alaska on par with basic capabilities across the Lower 48.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  noted  that the  university  has  a  capital request  in  the                                                               
university's budget for $300 million.  He related that the yellow                                                               
dots on slide  20 reflect what they envision  in federal support.                                                               
He  said this  has  been a  heavy lift  and  reiterated that  the                                                               
capital request  is intended  to help  in the  next few  years to                                                               
bring in the full support of the federal agencies.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:07:36 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. WEST emphasized that building  codes in Alaska are ultimately                                                               
premised  on  the history  of  the  seismic data,  including  the                                                               
earthquakes that took everyone by  surprise. He also reminded the                                                               
committee to keep  the tsunami component on the  radar because in                                                               
Alaska they  are both  part of  the "same  bad day."  He directed                                                               
attention to  slide 24  that demonstrates that  the main  road in                                                               
and  out of  Seward is  well within  the tsunami  zone. The  next                                                               
earthquake  will  look different  than  the  last and  it's  very                                                               
plausible that the next significant  event will include a tsunami                                                               
component.  He  also  stressed  the  importance  of  instrumental                                                               
recording.  To know  whether Eagle  River  actually shook  harder                                                               
than downtown  Anchorage, instruments  that record the  data have                                                               
to be  in place and  working. He  directed attention to  slide 25                                                               
that  shows   the  seismometers   in  key   locations  throughout                                                               
Fairbanks. He noted that many  of the instruments are at schools,                                                               
which is a double benefit.  Partnering provides better monitoring                                                               
data and it provides information  about particular facilities. He                                                               
highlighted  that   a  handful   of  bridges   are  instrumented,                                                               
generally through  the U.S. Geological  Survey. Looking  at doing                                                               
things  better,  he recommended  finding  key  places to  include                                                               
instrumentation  so there  is hard  data to  work with.  He noted                                                               
that is  a policy recommendation  from the Seismic  Hazard Safety                                                               
Commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if she  heard  correctly that  there are  no                                                               
monitors in Eagle River and Chugiak.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  replied there is  one recording instrument at  the fire                                                               
station in Chugiak  but none in Eagle River. He  related that the                                                               
maps  that  show shaking  are  based  on point  measurements  put                                                               
together with  algorithms. He emphasized that  they are estimates                                                               
and can't be expected to replace actual measurements.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES offered  her understanding that he had  checked on a                                                               
seismic instrument located  in the Capitol that  was installed 50                                                               
years ago.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEST  confirmed that he did  check on an instrument  that the                                                               
building manager  found several  months ago.  He will  do further                                                               
forensic work, but  he suspects that it dates back  to the 1960s.                                                               
He  noted that  the building  currently is  not instrumented  but                                                               
that  will be  remedied  going  forward. He  added  that it's  an                                                               
example of instrumenting key facilities.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  directed attention  to slide  25, "seismometers                                                               
in key  locations." He  drew a parallel  between the  movement at                                                               
the top  of a  multistory building during  an earthquake  and the                                                               
movement  on the  flying bridge  of a  vessel when  the water  is                                                               
rough. He asked  if there is a  lag and that the  movement at the                                                               
top is more intense.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST  confirmed that  the  slide,  which reflects  the  five                                                               
recordings   from    the   UAF   engineering    building,   shows                                                               
progressively  larger  movement  going toward  the  fifth  floor.                                                               
Instrumented buildings in Anchorage,  such at the Atwood Building                                                               
and the Hilton, provide even  better examples of this phenomenon.                                                               
He recalled  that the recordings  at the  top of the  Hilton were                                                               
three  times what  they  were on  the ground  level  and this  is                                                               
expected.  Buildings  are  engineered and  built  to  accommodate                                                               
this.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked him to continue.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEST restated  his final  talking point  which was  that the                                                               
next earthquake  will not be a  repeat of November 30,  2019. "We                                                               
need to be careful not to think  of how to plan for that specific                                                               
event. It will be different."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thanked Dr. West  for the presentation and his work.                                                               
She  invited Mr.  Kemp  and  Mr. Hodgin  from  the Department  of                                                               
Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF) to the table.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:15:08 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE   KEMP,    Central   Regional   Director,    Department   of                                                               
Transportation and Public  Facilities (DOTPF), Anchorage, related                                                               
that, for him,  the earthquake started last March  with the Eagle                                                               
River bridge  strike. When  that happened,  he realized  that the                                                               
department was not properly prepared  for that kind of emergency.                                                               
To  remedy the  situation,  training was  initiated using  FEMA's                                                               
Incident Command  System. He explained  that this is a  method of                                                               
dividing  responsibilities  and  running  tabletop  exercises  so                                                               
everyone will understand their role and  be ready to go should an                                                               
incident  occur. Part  of the  process  was to  use the  incident                                                               
command  structure to  practice  on simulated  incidents such  as                                                               
avalanches, minor flooding, and additional bridge strikes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  where the  incident command  center for  the                                                               
exercises was located.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  replied it was  in the  DOTPF aviation building  at the                                                               
airport. Continuing the presentation,  he displayed an example of                                                               
the  substantial damage  to the  DOTPF deputy  director's office.                                                               
His office just down the hall  suffered almost no damage. He also                                                               
displayed  the example  of the  severely damaged  section of  the                                                               
Glenn Highway near Mirror Lake.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  opined that  somebody is  looking out  for Alaskans                                                               
when this much  damage occurs without serious  injuries or death.                                                               
"It makes me incredibly grateful," she said.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP highlighted some of the close calls that motorists had.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  reviewed  the  immediate   response  timeline  following  the                                                               
Friday, November 30 earthquake:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   • 8:29 a.m. 7.0 earthquake followed several minutes later by                                                                 
     a 5.7 aftershock                                                                                                           
   • 8:35 a.m. Aviation Building evacuated and cleared                                                                          
   • 8:44 a.m. First DOT&PF Facebook post reporting damage and                                                                  
     establishing hashtag #AlaskaEarthquake                                                                                     
   • 9:30 a.m. DOT&PF Emergency Operations Center (EOC) up and                                                                  
     running                                                                                                                    
   • 10:15 a.m. Traffic control & Anchorage Police Department on                                                                
     site Minnesota & International                                                                                             
   • 10:30 a.m. Repairs started on Minnesota & International                                                                    
   •  11:08 a.m. Earthquake webpage up and running to inform the                                                                
     public                                                                                                                     
   • 11:34 a.m. First electronic Situation Report published                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He related  a story  about someone who  complained that  the road                                                               
damage at  Minnesota and  International was  fixed so  quickly he                                                               
didn't have an opportunity to view the damage.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:19:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  asked if the  department had a website  to keep                                                               
the public informed before the earthquake.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  replied the public  information officer posts  on their                                                               
website, Facebook, and Twitter to  keep the public informed about                                                               
events  such as  floods, avalanches,  and other  things. This  is                                                               
ongoing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  displayed a picture  of the incident  command structure                                                               
that was  up and running  in two  hours and was  operational 24/7                                                               
from  November  30  to  December  3. There  were  day  and  night                                                               
incident   commanders,   a   public  information   officer,   and                                                               
individuals in charge of maintenance, contracting, and design.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if implementation  went smoothly  because of                                                               
the training  or if they  learned things to  add to the  list for                                                               
the next event.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP deferred  the question to later in  the presentation. He                                                               
related that  he was  confident as  incident commander  because a                                                               
number  of people  on  staff  are former  military  and had  been                                                               
through  trainings  and actual  incident  commands.  He cited  an                                                               
example to demonstrate that the  transition from incident command                                                               
to project management was smooth.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   KIEHL  asked   how  many   contingent  locations   were                                                               
identified.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  replied the one  fallback location was the  annex where                                                               
Public Facilities  is located, and  it suffered more  damage than                                                               
the primary  location. Mr. Hodgin's  team conducted  a structural                                                               
inspection  to make  sure things  were  safe. He  noted that  air                                                               
quality was a concern and they  didn't have masks so those are on                                                               
the list.  He admitted that he  showed the office with  the worst                                                               
damage  and highlighted  that  downstairs  suffered very  limited                                                               
damage.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if he was  aware of any incident command plans                                                               
and identified locations for the other regions of the state.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:24:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. KEMP  replied he was not  aware of any plans  for other areas                                                               
but people from  all the different regions came  together to make                                                               
the response a success.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked  if he would follow up, so  the legislature is                                                               
sure that  all regions of the  state have a similar  plan and are                                                               
prepared for a disaster.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP said yes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:24:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE observed  that the ICS structure  appeared to be                                                               
more fit  for this  purpose than the  military ICS  structure. He                                                               
asked  if   this  is   a  nation  model   for  a   department  of                                                               
transportation response.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  replied the model came  directly from FEMA and  the ICS                                                               
leadership  team  took all  the  courses  that were  offered.  He                                                               
agreed that it is a little different than the military ICS.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He continued  to say that  the next  steps were to:  1) determine                                                               
the extent  of the  damage, 2)  prioritize which  work to  do, 3)                                                               
communicate the priorities with  the team (staff, consultants and                                                               
contractors), and 4) communicate with the public.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KEMP  listed  the  five   sources  of  information  used  to                                                               
determine the extent  of the damage: 1) maintenance  staff in the                                                               
field,   2)  bridge   inspectors,  3)   construction  teams,   4)                                                               
consultant team, and 5) the public.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:27:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. KEMP  displayed a map  that shows  some of the  160 locations                                                               
that  have been  identified  as DOTPF  highway  damage sites.  He                                                               
explained  that  FEMA  allows  180 days  to  identify  and  start                                                               
working  on  repairs.  Because   this  is  mid-winter,  a  90-day                                                               
extension was granted.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked if  he  expects  to  see more  damage  after                                                               
breakup than in a typical spring.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP said  yes; he's seeing new bumps and  humps on Minnesota                                                               
every day on  his way to work.  It's a concern that  there may be                                                               
changes in slope stability and  culvert damage that isn't readily                                                               
apparent.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He stressed  that a key issue  is the ability for  the leadership                                                               
team,  staff, consultants,  and contractors  to communicate  with                                                               
one another.  If cellphones  and email  doesn't work,  radios are                                                               
the fallback so it's important  that they're in working condition                                                               
with fresh batteries and people know how to use them.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KEMP advised  that to  keep the  public informed  the public                                                               
information officer was  on social media and  updated the webpage                                                               
continually. He opined that the PIO did an excellent job.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:30:51 PM                                                                                                                    
To  demonstrate how  quickly repairs  were made,  he displayed  a                                                               
picture of  the damage to  the Minnesota Drive  northbound onramp                                                               
to the  airport immediately  after the  earthquake and  four days                                                               
later on December  4, 2018 after it was repaired.  He said it was                                                               
a unique experience  to do things without permits  or budgets and                                                               
it  was fun  to  lead  a team  that  was  dedicated to  effecting                                                               
repairs as quickly as possible.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KEMP  directed  attention  to the  pictures  of  the  Willow                                                               
Fishhook Road  on November  30 just after  the earthquake  and on                                                               
December 10  after the apron  slope and  some of the  asphalt was                                                               
repaired.  He said  the majority  of the  repairs that  were done                                                               
will need to  be done again because they were  done in the winter                                                               
when paving generally isn't done.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:32:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  observed that  there might be  some commonality                                                               
between the  damaged sections of  highway. He asked if  they took                                                               
enough time  to understand the  factors that led to  the failures                                                               
so  that different  construction  methods could  be  used in  the                                                               
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KEMP explained  that  when  they revisit  the  sites in  the                                                               
spring, geotechnical investigation  will be done to  look at what                                                               
led to  the failure and  to ensure  that the follow-up  repair is                                                               
permanent. He  added that they  will look at bridge  failures the                                                               
same way.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE cited Turnagain Arm  bridge failures in the 1964                                                               
earthquake and the pancake bridges  on the LA interstate and said                                                               
the  relationship of  VSM versus  horizontal  structures is  very                                                               
complicated. He asked  if that is something that  DOTPF will also                                                               
evaluate.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  deferred to  Richard Pratt,  the chief  bridge engineer                                                               
for DOTPF.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if  small  planes and  drones  were used  to                                                               
assess the damage.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  replied most of  the photos  came from drones.  Each of                                                               
the maintenance stations has a  drone to respond to incidents, so                                                               
people at the incident command  center could see what someone was                                                               
talking about. They also use  Survey 123, which is an application                                                               
that allows someone with a cellphone  or laptop to take a picture                                                               
that has GPS coordinates.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:36:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES recalled  encouraging DOTPF  to start  using drones                                                               
four years ago.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP displayed  pictures of the Glenn Highway  at Mirror Lake                                                               
on November 30  after the earthquake and on December  5 after the                                                               
repair.  He  said  this  damage  didn't  get  as  much  press  as                                                               
Minnesota  International,  but  it  was high  risk  and  had  the                                                               
potential to  lose both northbound  and southbound  lanes because                                                               
of sloughing.  Transportation departments  across the  U.S. asked                                                               
how  the repairs  were done  so  quickly and  he credited  Alaska                                                               
contractors and their attitudes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  displayed   pictures  of  the   damage  on   the  Glenn-Parks                                                               
Interchange that will need  geotechnical exploration to determine                                                               
why it failed where it did.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A picture of the northbound lane  of the Eagle River bridge shows                                                               
a three  inch drop at the  break in the asphalt.  The contractors                                                               
milled  it  down  and  traffic  was back  on  the  bridge  fairly                                                               
quickly.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Pictures of  the Seward  Highway at  Dowling show  cracks running                                                               
through  the asphalt.  The only  reason this  sort of  damage was                                                               
identified  is  that there  was  very  little snow.  The  public,                                                               
contractors, consultants,  and crews all feed  information to DOT                                                               
about this sort of damage.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP displayed  a picture of the extensive  damage the Briggs                                                               
Bridge and pedestrian tunnel suffered  when a waterline ruptured.                                                               
The department is  working with the Anchorage  Water & Wastewater                                                               
Utility  (AWWU) on  these  repairs. He  pointed  to the  rockfall                                                               
damage  on  the  Seward  Highway  and  described  the  challenges                                                               
presented by  the high vertical  rock face alongside  the highway                                                               
that routinely  sloughs. The road  was reopened quickly  but this                                                               
corridor  routinely presents  problems. Cutting  the entire  rock                                                               
face  back is  cost-prohibitive  and a  landslide consultant  has                                                               
been engaged to advise on interim solutions.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:42:20 PM                                                                                                                    
He displayed pictures  of the earthquake damage to  Vine Road and                                                               
the repairs  the department quickly effected  in partnership with                                                               
Mat-Su. He pointed out that the  crew not only repaired and paved                                                               
the road  in the  winter, but  also striped  the new  asphalt. He                                                               
noted that  this section is another  that will likely need  to be                                                               
rebuilt. The road failed where it  crossed a slough as opposed to                                                               
either side that is forested and  suffered no damage. He said the                                                               
soils in that  area are probably unstable,  but that geotechnical                                                               
investigation will help explain why and how this happened.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  commented that  it's obvious where  this failed                                                               
and it  appears to be a  prime candidate to reevaluate  whether a                                                               
bridge versus a ground-based highway is applicable.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  turned to slides  26 and 27  to discuss the  results of                                                               
the hot  wash method  of road  repair and  the three  meetings to                                                               
discuss what  they learned about  improvements going  forward. He                                                               
noted that  the incident command  center lacked an  areawide map,                                                               
and  equipment that  wasn't available  included  masks for  those                                                               
inspecting buildings and a sniffer to detect gas leaks.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if the  Central Region planned to  share that                                                               
information with the other regions.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP said yes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:45:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  KEMP turned  to slide  28 and  listed the  following current                                                               
activities: [original punctuation provided]                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     1.  Identify  additional  damage due  to  earthquake  &                                                                    
     aftershocks (Ongoing)                                                                                                      
     2.  Request additional  support to  deliver our  normal                                                                    
     program & all of  the addition earthquake work (Request                                                                    
     submitted)                                                                                                                 
     3. Request  90 day  extension of the  Federal Emergency                                                                    
     Management  Agency  (FEMA)  180   day  time  limit  for                                                                    
     earthquake damage (Approved)                                                                                               
     4.  Accounting,  negotiating  and paying  for  all  the                                                                    
     emergency work (Ongoing)                                                                                                   
     5. Establishing  contracts for  all the  160+ locations                                                                    
     that will require permanent repairs (Ongoing)                                                                              
     6. FEMA disaster declaration (Approved)                                                                                    
     7. Current contracts total $7.27M                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if the  FEMA dollars  go directly  to DOTPF,                                                               
bypassing the legislative appropriation process.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP said he'd follow up with the answer.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KEMP concluded  the presentation  highlighting the  response                                                               
Central  Region gave  to other  state transportation  departments                                                               
that asked, "How did DOT do that in Alaska?"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
   • Last spring, we realized that we were not sufficiently                                                                     
     prepared to perform during an emergency.                                                                                   
   • We undertook training and practiced what we learned in our                                                                 
     training.                                                                                                                  
   • We have a very close working relationship and trust with                                                                   
     the contracting community.                                                                                                 
   • We are fortunate to have contractors who were ready, able                                                                  
     and willing to get to work immediately with only a                                                                         
     handshake.                                                                                                                 
   • Alaskans know if we don't do it, there isn't going to be                                                                   
     anyone else coming to help.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:49:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  asked for a  ballpark estimate of how  much higher                                                               
the repairs will be because this occurred in the winter.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEMP  said he could  not give a  percentage, but the  head of                                                               
construction for  the region says that  the bills so far  seem to                                                               
be  reasonable  considering the  level  of  effort that  was  put                                                               
forth.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL asked for a follow up once the numbers crystalize.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked him to  forward the information to her office.                                                               
She asked Mr. Hodgin if he had anything to add.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:51:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS HODGIN, Facilities Services  Project Manager, Department of                                                               
Transportation and  Public Facilities (DOTPF), Anchorage  said he                                                               
and Mr. Pratt  would give an overview of the  response metrics, a                                                               
high level look  at the damage and repair efforts,  and the steps                                                               
moving forward.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He related that  the immediate actions included  team welfare and                                                               
safety  checks  and  an  assessment of  needs  for  the  response                                                               
center. They  assembled a response  center at the  facility annex                                                               
to  liaison with  the DOTPF  headquarters  response center.  This                                                               
included  support   personnel  from  Anchorage,   Fairbanks,  and                                                               
Juneau.  At the  same  time, facilities  maintenance people  were                                                               
deployed to do rapid evaluations  of the facilities and ascertain                                                               
the  immediate repair  needs to  open the  facilities as  soon as                                                               
possible. The  first night the operations  manager from Fairbanks                                                               
and  the  project coordinator  from  Juneau  joined the  response                                                               
team.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HODGIN  explained that  the  facilities  were evaluated  and                                                               
prioritized based on the affected  intensity zones, starting with                                                               
critical facilities  in the highest  zones. Facilities  that were                                                               
occupied  24/7  like  API   [Alaska  Psychiatric  Institute]  and                                                               
McLaughlin Youth Center were prioritized first.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The immediate  repairs were  initiated by  facilities technicians                                                               
and  maintenance  personnel  partnered  with  local  contractors.                                                               
Other facilities  that were immediately  repaired were  the DOTPF                                                               
headquarters,  the DOTPF  annex,  and the  Boney Courthouse.  The                                                               
contractors  that  were  involved  were  janitorial,  mechanical,                                                               
electrical,  and environmental.  Because  of  these efforts,  the                                                               
majority  of  affected  state  buildings  were  ready  to  resume                                                               
operations  within four  days  following  the earthquake.  Safety                                                               
assessments  were  occurring  simultaneously.  These  teams  were                                                               
comprised of  architects, engineers, divisional  staff, volunteer                                                               
engineers from the Structural Engineering  Society of Alaska, and                                                               
out of state engineers from  North Carolina and California. These                                                               
inspections  followed  the   nationally  recognized  ATC-20  Post                                                               
Earthquake   Detailed   Evaluation    protocols.   This   allowed                                                               
consistent postings of the  buildings: green indicated inspected,                                                               
yellow  indicated restricted  use, and  red indicated  unsafe. He                                                               
directed attention  to the  timeline on slide  31 that  lists the                                                               
activities  within the  first  two weeks  of  the earthquake.  He                                                               
noted  that there  were  detailed assessments  in  the MatSu  and                                                               
Kenai Peninsula boroughs.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:54:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HODGIN reported  that the  response metrics  included strong                                                               
collaboration   with   partner   agencies.   There   were   daily                                                               
stakeholder  communications   to  provide  updates   on  building                                                               
inspections and  repair status.  The detailed  safety assessments                                                               
were the result of teams  inspecting 369 state facilities over 12                                                               
days and  inspection assistance to state-owned  facilities in the                                                               
MatSu  and Kenai  Peninsula  boroughs. A  majority  of the  state                                                               
facilities were  identified as green,  13 were  designated yellow                                                               
or restricted use, and none were found to be red or unsafe.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He reviewed  the damage summary.  For state facilities,  the most                                                               
significant damage  was found to  the DOTPF headquarters  and the                                                               
Boney  Courthouse. Temporary  repairs  have  been completed.  The                                                               
majority  of  state facilities  in  Anchorage,  MatSu, and  Kenai                                                               
Peninsula  Borough sustained  comparatively minor  damage. Common                                                               
damage included cinderblock type  construction, ceiling grid, and                                                               
sheetrock cracks.  Estimates for permanent repairs  range from $6                                                               
million to  $10 million. He  said those numbers will  continue to                                                               
be updated. He advised that  they are currently working with risk                                                               
management  and  the state  emergency  office  to coordinate  the                                                               
repair work.  The timelines  for repairs  will vary  depending on                                                               
severity  and the  processes and  requirements  of the  different                                                               
funding sources.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  thanked Mr. Hodgin  and asked Mr. Pratt  to respond                                                               
to Senator Micciche's question about bridges.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:56:41 PM                                                                                                                    
RICH PRATT,  Chief Bridge Engineer, Department  of Transportation                                                               
and  Public  Facilities (DOTPF),  said  he  has about  35  years'                                                               
experience  in  bridge  engineer.  He related  that  his  overall                                                               
reaction to  the earthquake is that  we got pretty lucky  and the                                                               
bridges in the area came through relatively well.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He  explained that  DOTPF's bridge  office responded  from Juneau                                                               
and  teamed up  with the  bridge maintenance  team in  Fairbanks.                                                               
Responding to  Senator Micciche's earlier question,  he explained                                                               
that  the  program  for  bridge   inspections  calls  for  annual                                                               
inspections  by  the   department's  professional  bridge  design                                                               
engineers. This  is the team  that responded to the  event. These                                                               
engineers have the  reports on all the affected  bridges and have                                                               
been routinely  inspecting them  at maximum  every 24  months. He                                                               
noted that  these inspections require  boots on the  ground work,                                                               
so these  people had to be  prepared to spend their  days outside                                                               
in the icy conditions under bridges.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:58:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked if his team  was involved with the March Eagle                                                               
River bridge incident.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRATT  said yes;  a bridge  inspector in  Anchorage responded                                                               
that day and  by that evening a bridge engineer  from Juneau took                                                               
over  the   engineering  responsibilities  for  the   repair  and                                                               
reopening of  the Glenn  Highway. The  response was  similar when                                                               
the dump truck struck the Tudor Road overpass last month.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He reiterated that four teams  from Juneau and one from Fairbanks                                                               
responded to  the earthquake. They  prioritized 300  bridges that                                                               
needed  inspections and  accomplished this  over four  days. They                                                               
didn't   find  any   significant  damage.   Those  bridges   were                                                               
prioritized in the normal prescribed  approach. Dave Kemp's local                                                               
maintenance  teams  went  out   initially  to  identify  anything                                                               
significant  and report  the findings  to the  bridge office  who                                                               
follows up within 24-48 hours.  He noted that high-traffic routes                                                               
like the Glenn  Highway, the Seward Highway,  and Minnesota Drive                                                               
were also prioritized. Consideration was  given to the age of the                                                               
structures, whether the bridges  had been strengthened to improve                                                               
their  seismic   performance,  whether  the  bridges   had  known                                                               
vulnerable details,  and if the  bridge had an  identified issue.                                                               
He explained  that some structural  details are known to  be more                                                               
vulnerable than others.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:00:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRATT pointed  to the  graphic on  slide 37  that shows  the                                                               
contours of  ground shaking  with bridge  locations superimposed.                                                               
The  next slide  shows the  ground slipped  16 inches  vertically                                                               
when the slope failed in front  of the wingwalls and abutments on                                                               
a  bridge  near Eagle  River.  He  said  bridges are  founded  on                                                               
pilings that  go 50-150 feet  into the ground, so  this indicates                                                               
that  the soil  failed below.  He explained  that the  graphic on                                                               
slide  39 shows  the underside  of a  relatively new  bridge that                                                               
carries  Dowling  Road  over  the  top  of  Arctic  Boulevard  in                                                               
Anchorage. A  shear key cracked  due to  the lateral load  of the                                                               
earthquake  that  tried  to  push the  bridge  sideways  off  its                                                               
supports.  He  noted that  shear  keys  function like  electrical                                                               
fuses   that  fail   before   a  more   critical   part  of   the                                                               
infrastructure  fails. The  shear key  did its  job and  kept the                                                               
girders  on  the supports.  He  reported  that 19  bridges  still                                                               
require some  form of repair  and the estimated repair  costs are                                                               
$860,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:02:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRATT, responding  to Senator  Micciche's earlier  question,                                                               
said the department  learned a lot from the  1964 earthquake when                                                               
a lot of bridges collapsed in  Turnagain Arm. They also learned a                                                               
lot  in  the  1970s  and  1980s when  bridges  collapsed  in  the                                                               
California earthquakes.  He said the  key is to keep  the girders                                                               
on the  abutments and piers  and off  the ground. No  collapse is                                                               
the national design standard for  bridges and DOTPF follows those                                                               
design standards.  He shared  that he  chairs the  committee that                                                               
writes the national standards for  seismic design for bridges and                                                               
a colleague wrote  two of the chapters. He described  Alaska as a                                                               
leader  in this  area.  He  said he  wasn't  sure  how much  they                                                               
learned other  than that  what they've been  doing seems  to have                                                               
worked  in this  event.  It  could have  been  otherwise but  not                                                               
because anything is  wrong or substandard. The  earthquake was 30                                                               
miles deep  and there was a  lot of shaking where  the ground was                                                               
disturbed but the structures don't  appear to have been disturbed                                                               
in the same way.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:04:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  thanked him  for the answer  and asked  if some                                                               
people within  DOTPF thought  that Vine Road  should have  been a                                                               
bridge.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRATT said  bridges are at least ten times  more expensive to                                                               
construct  than roads.  In the  example  of the  bridge with  the                                                               
cracked shear  key ground  improvements were  done and  it helped                                                               
but the  cost was  $3 million  for just  the two  abutment sites.                                                               
Other strategies  could be used  such as removing  the vulnerable                                                               
soil.  The  geotechnical  engineers consider  that  and  optimize                                                               
their designs based on that to the best of their ability.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE said it comes down to a cost benefit analysis                                                                  
in every case.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRATT agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thanked the presenters.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE suggested she extend a huge thank you to DOTPF                                                                 
for its response.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES said everyone is most grateful for the response and                                                                
preparedness of all the DOTPF employees.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:07:48 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Hughes adjourned the Senate Transportation Standing                                                                       
Committee meeting at 3:07 pm.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
STRA Agenda 2.7.19.pdf STRA 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
Mike West Earthquake Presentation.pdf STRA 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
DOT&PF Earthquake Presentation.pdf STRA 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
DOT&PF 2.7.19 Follow up.pdf STRA 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM