• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Public Invited to Participate in Initial Scoping for Park Headquarters Utilidor Replacement

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Date: October 26, 2011
Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583

The National Park Service (NPS) intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment regarding the replacement of the utility infrastructure at the Park Headquarters in Denali National Park and Preserve. The purpose of the project to upgrade the utility systems; provide reliable utility service for the headquarters facilities; address safety concerns for park operations and maintenance; and increase the energy efficiency of the utility infrastructure.

The Denali Headquarters utilidor, built in 1958, houses the utilities for the 42 administrative facilities and permanent housing units in the headquarters area, including the 11.91 acre Park Headquarters Historic District. The utilidor is comprised of a series of 4-foot by 4-foot horizontal concrete tunnels ranging in depth from 5 - 15 feet that contain the steam, sewer, and water lines for the headquarters facilities. These utility systems have an average serviceable life of 20 years, and they have not been replaced since the utilidor's construction. In its current condition, the system is at risk for a major failure during high utility use periods in the winter.

A reasonable range of alternatives will be developed for consideration that will be responsive to the issues identified through agency and public involvement. The alternatives currently under consideration include: replacing all of the water, steam, sewer, and fiber optic lines within a new utilidor adjacent to the present one; rehabilitating the existing utilidor and lines while trenching nearby for a new arctic pipe water line, and replacing the flat metal section on the existing utilidor roof with a dome-shaped cover that will enable all of the new arctic pipe to fit inside.

The NPS is currently in the scoping phase of this project and invites the public to submit written comments by Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov, faxed to (907) 683-9612, emailed, or mailed to:

Superintendent
Denali National Park and Preserve
ATTN: Utilidor Replacement
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

The NPS encourages public participation through the National Environmental Policy Act (commonly known as NEPA) process. The public will have two opportunities to formally comment on this project - during this initial project scoping and after the EA is released, which is expected in late winter 2012.

For questions about the project please contact Steve Carwile at (907) 644-3612 or via email.

Additional park information is available on the park website or by calling (907) 683-9532 from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm daily. Stay connected with "Denali NPS" on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and ITunes.

Did You Know?

a green hillside and a brown scar denoting where a landslide occurred

Warmer temperatures have led to dramatic thawing of permafrost. Thaw releases carbon, as once-frozen materials decompose, but allows increased plant growth. Researchers in Denali are studying whether thawing permafrost will increase or decrease world-wide carbon emissions.