Every Innovation Starts With A Conversation
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Properly identifying and responding to potential geotechnical problems in the design stage of a project is crucial. In fact, it is necessary to delivering cost-efficient, highly functioning projects. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOTPF) has implemented A-GaME technologies. Through using this innovation, the department has been able to continuously monitor and record information during the drilling process. 

Public engagement is an essential part of the transportation decision-making process. It gives the public the ability to offer their own observations and insights on the transportation system they use daily. ADOTPF used virtual public engagement (VPI) to provide the public with ongoing updates during their Windy Corner project. 

ADOTPF uses virtual feedback to guide project plans 

In 2020, ADOTPF proposed multiple safety improvements for Seward Highway. They were designed to decrease the likelihood of high-severity crashes and improve traffic conditions.  

The department hosted an in-person and online open house to allow the public to learn more about the changes to the project. This not only allowed residents to learn more about the proposed project, but it also allowed for public feedback from Alaska residents. As part of their outreach efforts, the agency utilized virtual public involvement (VPI) methods. VPI allows state transportation agencies to inform their public and receive immediate feedback. 

From March to August 2020, the agency also formally opened up the project’s draft environmental assessment to the public for comment. In addition, the department held an open forum public hearing in July 2020. Today, the agency continues to keep residents updated through the project’s website

Alaska is on their A-GaME 

Advanced Geotechnical Methods in Exploration (A-GaME) are proven strategies and tools that provide various benefits including speed, cost-effectiveness and safety. Acquiring geophysical data while crews are in the field drilling can add a bit of time. However, it provides important information that allows for the efficient targeting of drill sites. 

ADOTPF used a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to highlight utility locations during drilling investigations in metropolitan locations. The agency also noted the advantages of using A-GaME techniques on projects in remote locations. Furthermore, ADOTPF found that these techniques are often quicker and much easier to implement than mobilizing a drilling rig.