Deplorable Design

I am sharing these photos to demonstrate the inadequacy of the designs we have to suffer in Anchorage. The photos are of a tunnel underneath Boniface Parkway in Anchorage, Alaska. The tunnel is part of a required route for students to walk to attend the local Elementary School that sits a few hundred feet from the East side of the tunnel.

What are the issues we see in these photos?

  • The tunnel is not sealed from above, so water seeps into the tunnel from the road bed.
  • The tunnel is not shielded from ice and debris plowed off the road above
  • The ice and debris plowed of the road above piles up at the entrances to the tunnel (not shown here is a photo from some years ago where the snow wall created by the plowing covered half the height of the tunnel).
  • The tunnel is at the lowest point of the trail on the West end, meaning that it serves as the sump for all water.
  • There is a drain to the storm sewer a few feet to the East of the tunnel entrance on the East side, but that is frozen over half the year.
  • As you can see, melt from outside the tunnel solely covers the entire tunnel eventually rendering the entire surface glassy.
  • And, not seen in this photo, the lack of any trail lighting on the West side though this has been in the Master Plan for this area for DECADES.

Are there any reasons that these issues could not have been avoided? Two: a) failure to produce an adequate design, and/or b) refusal to fund an adequate design.

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