Oksrukuyik Creek Deep Foundation Verification Study - Long-Term Bridge Abutment Monitoring on Alaska’s Haul Road - Case Study
Roughly 100 miles south of Deadhorse, Alaska, replacement of Oksrukuyik Creek Bridge warranted application of an ad-freeze pile design for two bridge abutments supporting the bridge deck. In light of permafrost soils and thermal influences from the creek’s thaw bulb, long term temperature profiling along the abutments was implemented to verify efficacy of the foundation design.
Design, installation and maintenance of road infrastructure in northern climates requires special consideration with regards to permafrost soils. Design criteria must account for thermal impacts of infrastructure which can result in thaw, settlement, and subsequent damage to both infrastructure and the natural environment. For roadways, embankments are meticulously designed to isolate the roadway from native tundra. For bridges, foundation piles must be placed deep enough to counteract the effects of heave.
An ad-freeze deep pile design was used for foundation construction of the Oksrukuyik Creek Bridge. To verify efficacy of the bridge design relative to the stability of surrounding permafrost, long term temperature profiling of both bridge abutments was established.
BeadedStream was contacted to provide a customized temperature monitoring package that included 60 foot long Digital Temperature Cables that were placed in PVC conduit along the abutments. Both cables were routed to a D405 Satellite Data Logger that was established to log and transmit temperature data for a minimum of 5 years.
Remote data collection of bridge abutment temperatures has allowed AKDOT engineers to:
- Easily collect data without the need to visit the remote site location
- Ensure collection of a continuous dataset that meets monitoring and verification objectives
- Remain proactive should thermal conditions change adversely
- Establish best practices in northern engineering through efficient means of remote data collection
The result is a bridge project coming full circle with data to support its effectiveness in a harsh and remote northern climate. To view the complete dataset, please click HERE.
Alaska’s Dalton Highway is the northern portion of a major North/South transportation line that connects Alaskan communities over a nearly 800 mile distance. OK Creek is one small bridge along a great highway and a great example of northern engineering best practices.