Many of us will long remember the image of the off-ramp from Minnesota Drive to International Airport Road. Perhaps a much shorter memory was how quickly crews got to work.

It's not something contractor Dave Cruz had encountered until Nov. 30.

"We did something that we're all taught not to do, we had no paper. We had, ‘get it fixed, the paper will catch up," Cruz said.

Permits for the project were the least of their concerns.

"Everybody had their shoulder to the wheel. I don't know of a contractor that didn’t get paid," said Cruz. "I don't know a part of the DOT was dissatisfied with a part of the work contractors did, but they just moved on this thing, put contractors in and got it done."

Alaska Senate President Cathy Giessel joined employees and contractors for an earthquake response celebration recognizing efforts to get Alaska moving after the earthquake.

"This represents appreciation for the fact that in less than a week, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities had restored and reopened eight major transportation corridors through our state," Giessel said.

Vine Road became a tourist attraction until construction started. Once it did, the road was open less than a week later. It was a similar story with the Mirror Lake Exit on the inbound Glenn Highway.

"I don't think we could have done any better than the response that we did," said DOT Commissioner John McKinnon.

The work paid off, as Alaskans had one less thing to worry about following the earthquake.

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