Point of Beginning - October 2009 - (Page 18)

HIGH LI SUR TS IN VEYING GH FIF T H A N N U ow do you build an airport for a small island characterized by rugged terrain? For the city of Akutan on Akutan Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands of Alaska, it was a challenging question. The mountainous island, which lies 35 miles east of Unalaska and 766 air miles southwest of Anchorage, is home to the largest seafood production facility in North America. The city occupies 14 square miles of the 129-square-mile island. Although fewer than 800 people live in Akutan year-round, seasonal employment in the commercial fish-processing industry often doubles the island’s population. Yet access to the island is difficult. Most transportation is by boat or seaplane, neither of which is reliable given the frequently H Control on rough sea conditions. Additionally, the amphibious plane that serves Akutan out of Unalaska—a 1940s-era Grumman Goose that is the only aircraft capable of handling the wave conditions in Akutan Bay—is nearing the end of its useful life. Without the Grumman Goose, Akutan will no longer be accessible by air. When officials with the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) began studying the problem several years ago, they decided that a land-based airport was imperative to improving the mobility of people and goods in the region and ensuring continued direct-flight access to the island. Since Akutan was not a viable location for an airport, officials turned to the neighboring island of Akun. A hough Although it just g u es ong, g Although it is just 12 miles long, A miles long, Akun Island is unpoped nd features 1-mile str eatures 1-mile strip r ulated and features a 1-mile strip of lowland—enough dat 5 space to accommodate the 4,500 accommodate the 4,500-foot paved runway, the Edge ll on of ski i combinat nology to and tech complex handle a a remote on project n island. Alaska TIN BY CHRIS E L. GRAH L taxiway, apron, and snow removal equipment and sand storage buildings that would comprise the airport. A hovercraft and barge system would be developed to transport people and freight across the Akun Strait to Akutan. It was the ideal solution. The only remaining challenge was overcoming the remote location, extreme weather and rocky terrain of Akun Island. DOT&PF officials selected HDR Alaska Inc. as the design-build consultant for the project. HDR, in turn, contracted USKH Inc., an Anchorage-based multidisciplinary firm, to handle the survey work. USKH was already familiar with the region: In 2001 and 2003, the firm had performed photo control and profiling surveys on Akutan Island under contract with HDR, and in 2005, USKH crews conducted limited control AL USKH’s Sam Denny performs a topographic survey on Akun Island. OCTOBER 2009 | Point of Beginning | www.pobonline.com http://www.pobonline.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Point of Beginning - October 2009

Point of Beginning - October 2009
Web Site/Digital Edition Contents
Editor’s Points
Control on the Edge
Hurricane Watch
The Need for Speed
A Digital Desert
31 Degrees of Latitude
Taming the Wild GIS
The Magic Bullet
From the Ground Up
Professional Topography
Safety Sense
The Business Side
New & Notable
Classified Ads
Fun & Games
Ad Index

Point of Beginning - October 2009