State DOT comes to rescue of Vine Road



The Alaska Department of Transportation is helping Matanuska-Susitna Borough restore and reopen Vine Road between Shady Grove Lane and Country Wood Drive.

Vine Road suffered significant damage during the Nov. 30 earthquake, which registered 7.0 magnitude, and was centered north of Anchorage. The road is not a state road, but is owned by the borough.


Federal Highways Administration Division Administrator Sandra Garcia-Aline inspects damaged Vine Road while it is being reconstructed by a private contractor under the direction of Alaska DOT, on Wednesday.

At the request of the borough, DOT assigned a construction manager to the project and is working with private contractor, Northern Asphalt Construction, to start repairs.

Currently DOT is doing excavation and embankment construction, and will pave it when it is ready. Paving with asphalt in the winter requires the material to be heated even more than usual so it doesn’t freeze before it is rolled down. It’s difficult to get a good surface laid down in Alaska’s winter conditions.

A humorous graphic depicting Department of Transportation showed up in social media over the weekend.

The pass-off of leadership at the Department of Transportation between the Walker and the Dunleavy Administration has gone smoothly, with former Commissioner Marc Luiken working all the way until Monday, when he passed duties off to the new Commissioner John MacKinnon.

The two had met and worked together over the previous days to make sure the state roads and infrastructure repairs were underway. Significant work needed to be done to assess and begin repair to the state’s most populated area’s infrastructure.

The U.S. Geological Survey has posted this video of the damage to Vine Road:

DOT will be providing ongoing updates to the repairs on the department’s website at



  1. Huh. I figured that they would just fill it with gravel, blade it smooth, roll it in, and pave it next summer.
    I’m not sure why it’s necessary to pave before then.

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