Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security
Photo by Treva Slaughter
Used with permission Fort Greely Interceptor
A perfect storm of snow and wind made driving the Richardson Highway very difficult one day last November. The velocity of the wind sweeping across Allen Army Airfield and the driving snow necessitated mitigating strategies.
Taking a page from the State of Wyoming playbook on snow fences, the Directorate of Public Works engineers and the airfield manager put together the estimates for strong snow fences which would last 25 years. The estimated lowest cost was $173,760.00. As a second course of action, the establishment of snow berms which is also used in other states was explored and implemented. The cost was minimal as the DPW snow removal team just placed the snow in different locations.
The berms have been watched, especially on windy days as the average wind speeds at Fort Greely can be in excess of 40 MPH with gusts up to 60 MPH and have held up well and prevented much of the drifting and visibility issues. The Fort Greely team worked with the Alaska Department of Transportation on this initiative. The snow berms have provided additional visibility to drivers along those areas identified as needing protection.