By Derek Minemyer
Repair work to earthquake-damaged piling at the Port of Alaska is wrapping up ahead of winter, and port managers are looking at what comes next.
Engineer inspections performed after the 2019 snow melt revealed more damage than port managers could see in the aftermath of the earthquake. They found that 20 percent of piles holding up POL2, a dock receiving petroleum, oil and cement imports, had failed. This failure was so severe that the port had to de-rate the loading capacity of the dock while making repairs.
“We didn’t have to shut the dock down entirely,” said POA External Affairs Director Jim Jager. “But it did reduce the amount of goods brought in through the dock.”
POL2 piling repairs consisted of wrapping custom fit metal “pile jackets” around about 60 structurally compromised supports, according to Jager. The piling was already well beyond its lifespan before the earthquake and had been weakening due to corrosion.