Alaska's Pavement & Infrastructure Will Take A Costly Beating As Canadian Ore Trucks Crank Up

MINING CORRIDOR PLAN  May, 2024  An expert from Kinney Engineering, contracted by Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), recently spoke ...

MINING CORRIDOR PLAN 


May, 2024 

An expert from Kinney Engineering, contracted by Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), recently spoke with local people in Fairbanks about the Manh Choh Mine trucking project corridor between Tetlin, where the mine is located, and Fort Knox, north of Fairbanks, where the ore is milled.

The project uses 95-foot long tractor-trailers, and there has been overwhelming concern along the route that the Canadian company, Kinross, which runs the mine, will damage the roads, kill motorists, and take needed funding away from Alaskans for road and infrastructure repairs. The Canadian company is not paying taxes for use of Alaska's highways, and is not paying any usage fees. 

Already in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, local residents have been complaining in letters about road damage, including a 6 inch deep, 14-foot wide, 44-foot long sudden hole in the pavement near the Fort Knox mine entrance on the Steese Highway. 

In an extensive story in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Kinney Engineering was reported to have said: 

• $3.2 million would be needed "for new facilities" in the corridor

• Snowplowing would need a $3.5 million increase

• Surface payment along the 247-mile route would cost $478 million to $489 million to fix

* Passing lanes in 15 places will cost $21 million to $51 million

• Turnouts in 13 locations on the route would cost $5 million

• People are concerned about trucks ramming into school buses. "Locator transponders" would cost $5,000 per bus

• Summer maintenance and operations could increase by $4.3 million a year

Winter maintenance and operations will be "much more expensive"

Residents who came to the meeting were worried about the route's aged, substandard bridges, road safety and winter driving.

Kinney Engineering said the huge mining trucks would probably increase the risk of "crashes or collisions" to at least 10 a year... "with larger severity" than other vehicle incidents, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. 



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