NPS News Release: EA for Improvements to Porcupine Forest Area of Denali Park Road

The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is considering a road rehabilitation project on the section of Park Road between milepost 50.8 – 52.4 (known as Porcupine Forest) in Denali National Park and Preserve.

This section of road has numerous structural problems and does not meet the park’s road design standards for intervisible passing pullouts.  The road through Porcupine Forest was built on organic soils rich in peat and permafrost.  Poor foundation drainage, soft spots, standing water in ditches, soft road edges, inadequate road base material, heaving sections, flexing driving surface and water upwelling through the road surface are all common.  Although surfacing gravel is available none has been applied to this section in the past due to the need for significant project level structural repairs.

This project is scheduled to take place during the summer of 2011 or 2012.

The NPS has published an EA for this project entitled “Environmental Assessment for Rehabilitation, Drainage Work, and Other Improvements in the Porcupine Forest Area of the Denali Park Road of Denali National Park.” It is available at the NPS planning website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The EA analyzes the impacts of the “No Action” alternative and the “NPS Preferred” alternative. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).

Comments on the EA may be submitted through September 13, 2010, preferably via web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Comments may also be mailed to Steve Carwile, Denali Compliance Project Manager, NPS Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501 or faxed to (907) 644-3803.

For questions or paper copies of the EA, please contact Steve Carwile at (907) 644-3612.

-NPS-

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