Whittier Tunnel Surface and Drainage Improvements
 DOT&PF Project Number: 0496014/Z584810000



The purpose of this Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) project is to repair and modify existing drainage systems at the tunnel invert and crown as well as addressing repairs to the Bear Valley Portal foundation drain, Whittier Portal storm drain network and the Whittier Portal roof.

Construction is planned to begin winter 2018 and last two winters.

The Whittier tunnel is in its 16th year of operation as a shared-use road/rail facility. Much of the primary tunnel structure has been preserved through routine maintenance since reconstruction in 2000; however, various features of the tunnel drainage system have reached dilapidated states and require special consideration. This project will repair and extend the life of tunnel drainage systems.

Construction will require scheduling and coordination amongst the DOT&PF, Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC), and community of Whittier. The purpose of public involvement during the design phase is to provide early notice to Whittier tunnel users, community members, residents, and businesses operating in Whittier. The project team will solicit contact information to be used by the construction team to provide advance notification of tunnel operations during construction.


This project will:

  • Seal concrete road panels to extend useful life of panels.
  • Install new ceiling drip pans as necessary.
  • Stabilization of rock in three sections of the tunnel.
  • Repair Bear Valley Portal foundation drain.
  • Recoat Whittier Portal roof to stop leaks.
  • Upgrade radar and signs at safe houses.


Whittier Portal Roof

Whittier Portal Roof photo Water leaks, primarily at the joints, from the roof into the Whittier Portal Building.  A new roof system will be installed over the existing roof.

Drip Pans

Drip Pans photo Corroded existing Drip Pans will be coated or replaced.  New drip pans will also be installed.  A gutter and downspout system will also be installed to collect and convey water away from roadway.

Star Track Panels

Star Track Panels photo Many of the Star Track Panels are cracked and/or have experienced surficial concrete loss.  The affected concrete panels are to be coated with a concrete penetrating sealant to extend the life of the concrete panels and to reduce the time to corrosion of the steel reinforcement.

Radar and Informational Signage

Radar and Informational Signage photo Additional radar and informational signage will be installed at the safe houses.  The electronic informational signage will allow tunnel control to provide more situation specific instruction to the tunnel users.