AP NEWS

Department seeks to adapt amid climate change in Alaska

November 18, 2018

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska transportation department is changing how it maintains roads as the state feels the effects of climate change.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reports climate change has made it harder and more expensive to keep up. There are issues like freezing rain and damage to roads built on thawing permafrost.

Dan Schacher, with the department in Fairbanks, recalls spending $750,000 more than usual during a long stretch of winter with measureable rainfall.

He says the department is changing its methods to respond, such as using trucks to distribute a watery solution called salt brine that’s meant to help with slippery pavement.

The Fairbanks region was the pilot project for the salt brine trucks now also being used in Anchorage. The brine has been in common use in the Lower 48.

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