Earthquake creates massive sinkhole on Anchorage roadway
It’s one of the scenes from Friday’s earthquake that’s captured attention across the country and even around the world — the northbound on-ramp to International Airport Road from the Walter J. Hickel Parkway is now a massive sink hole.
There was at least one car on the ramp at the time of the quake, a photo of which circulated on social media Friday morning.
Mahear Abou Eid, a project engineer for the Alaska Department of Transportation, says he doesn’t know who was in the car at the time of the earthquake, but it was abandoned by the time construction crews arrived on scene about 30 minutes later.
"I can't believe how lucky he was," Abou Eid said about the driver. "He stopped in the right spot and the earth moved around him and settled out and he was able to get out of the vehicle."
No injuries or fatalities have been reported as a result of the collapse.
The crater is about about 10 feet deep and several hundred feet long. Abou Eid says the earth underneath the ramp shifted, creating the gap.
Construction crews will work around-the-clock throughout the weekend to fill the hole and make temporary repairs to the ramp.
"For now we're trying to what we can to get the road opened. It will be a temporary fix, but it will be safe for cars to drive on," he said.
Any kind of long-term renovation to the road will likely have to wait until the ground thaws in the spring, according to Abou Eid.
The Department of Transportation hopes to have the ramp operational by the end of Monday.
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