The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) owns and maintains the existing airports in Nanwalek and Port Graham and has identified numerous safety deficiencies at both airports. The existing runways do not adequately accommodate the range of aircraft that currently use, or are anticipated to use, the runways. The short runway length restricts landing and takeoff, present safety issues, and the communities of Port Graham and Nanwalek are limited in their development due to the proximity of the airports to residential areas.
Click the image to view an animated 3D fly-though of the proposed project
Construction of a new airport in a location beneficial to both communities would allow for development and expansion, as well as enhance safety through improvements such as a longer runway and a runway lighting system. Safety in aviation is paramount and as such, a new airport will better serve the local passenger, mail, freight, and medevac needs.
The development of a new, shared Nanwalek & Port Graham airport will improve air service for both communities and will include a new 3.5 mile long access road traversing the mountainous terrain that currently acts as a barrier between the two communities. The proposed airport and access road will link Nanwalek and Port Graham to the airport and to each other.
This project will:
- Design and construct a new airport at a location approximately three miles east of Nanwalek and one mile west of Port Graham
- Design and construct a new access road from both communities to the airport
- Design the runway to A-1 design standards for a Community Class airport in Alaska and install associated facilities
- Complete the work described in the Memorandum of Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for a historic trail
- Provide a utility conflict report, resolution, and design
- Appraise and acquire the right-of-way for the combined airport and airport access roads
- Decommission both existing airports
- Obtain final environmental permits for construction of the new airport and road.
Proposed Project Map
Geotechnical investigation drilling was complete this past summer. DOT&PF and R&M will process the data and develop a report and recommendations for design.
R&M will advance design of the airport and access road to 35% and determine permanent Right-of-Way needs. Our team will then contact select property owners to negotiate those Right-of-Way needs. The design and construction schedules are dependent on the Right-of-Way process. As updated project schedule will be provided once the DOT&PF owns sufficient property for the airport.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and participation in this project as we move forward with design of the new airport and airport access road.
Field surveyors recently completed a successful 2.5-month topographic surveying season while practicing safe, physical distancing from both Villages. The geotechnical field work has been postponed to 2021. As a result, our team will be contacting select property owners this fall and winter to extend the revocable use permits. Data collected during the topographic survey as well as the geotechnical field work is critical in helping us move forward the design of the new airport and airport access road.
DOT&PF and R&M staff will be on site next week, beginning October 12th, to inspect and review proposed locations for preliminary geotechnical test holes.
If you have questions about the field work completed or the status of the project, please contact a member of the project team.
An Eagle Nest Survey of the project area was conducted the morning of Sunday, June 14th, in accordance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Eagle Nest Survey was conducted aerially, via helicopter operated by Maritime Helicopters.
If you have questions, please contact a member of the project team.
A R&M survey crew will be conducting a topographic survey of the area to support the Nanwalek-Port Graham Airport Relocation project beginning mid-June 2020 and lasting through August 2020.
To mitigate the concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have chartered a boat that will serve as a mobile “camp” for the duration of the field work. The R&M survey crew will be aboard the Rainbow Connection (pictured left). The boat will be anchored off shore, mainly near Port Graham. To expedite work, we may move the boat along the coast for better access to the work site. The crew will be shuttled daily from the boat to shore and back. Our intention is to work autonomously and maintain separation from both villages, to the maximum extent possible.
We look forward to a successful field season and will do everything in our power to protect the health and well-being of the community and our personnel. Please contact a member of the project team if you have any questions or comments.
Representatives from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and R&M Consultants were in Port Graham and Nanwalek on February 10, 2020 for a site visit to prepare for field work to be conducted this summer. The site visit concluded by the end of the week.
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Thank you for joining us at the first community meeting!
Join us for the first community meeting to learn about the proposed Nanwalek & Port Graham Airport Relocation project and get your questions answered by the project team.
Nanwalek Community Meeting #1
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Robert Kvasnikoff Community Hall
Port Graham Community Meeting #1
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
1:00 to 3:00 PM at the Port Graham Community Center
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