ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Beginning on Tuesday at 7 a.m., the northbound off-ramp toward Palmer, where the Glenn Highway splits from the Parks, will be closed for emergency repair. The cause: damage from the November 30 7.1 earthquake that rocked Southcentral in November.
The original damage was discovered on November 30, the day of the earthquake, by an area inspection crew. Workers were able to make a temporary repair in the next couple days that only required closing the righthand lane.
A bridge crew from Juneau came a few days later and decided that the damage would need further work.
Now, DOT says it’s time for a more permanent fix, and it is closing the off-ramp for about a week, from July 16 to 23. Drivers headed toward Palmer will have to take a significant detour and take the Parks Highway before turning on Trunk Road until the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.
The detour will bring the distance from downtown Anchorage to downtown Palmer from 42.9 miles to 44.4 miles according to a Google Maps search, an extra 1.5 miles.
Detour map for off-ramp closure.
During the November 30 quake, DOT spokesperson Shannon McCarthy says that certain pockets of saturated ground liquefied and rotated. One of those pockets was near the Palmer/Wasilla Interchange, where the bridge experienced “rotational failure.”
Still, McCarthy said that the bridge held up “pretty darn well” and it has been safe to drive ever since the initial repairs were completed.
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