Alaska's Public Infrastructure and Adaptation to Climate Change

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM AKST

Mike Coffey, Statewide Maintenance and Operations Chief, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
Alaska’s public transportation system lies within one of the most inhospitable and challenging environments on the entire planet. With approximately 80 percent of the state underlain by ice-rich permafrost, 6640 miles of coastline (more than the other 49 states combined), and roughly 47,300 miles of tidally affected shoreline, Alaska is at the forefront of climate change impacts. In addition, a significant percentage of the state’s transportation system is constructed over permafrost and adjacent to or in close proximity to the coast and other water bodies including rivers, streams, and lakes. For these reasons, Alaska’s transportation system is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOTPF) is responsible for managing the state’s transportation infrastructure in this challenging environment. Mike Coffey will discuss climate change impacts on Alaska’s transportation infrastructure and discuss how the department is adapting to the changing environment. Mike will also discuss the State’s efforts to assist the community of Newtok in their relocation to Mertarvik.

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