Kwigillingok Airport Environmental Assessment and Permitting

Kwigillingok, Alaska
Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

The airport runway at Kwigillingok, a coastal community in southwest Alaska, was considerably substandard. The runway, which was only 2,000 feet long, required expansion to allow aircraft to land/take off safely. The runway is hemmed in between the community’s buildings and the tidally influenced Kwigillingok River. Expansion meant relocating a portion of the river and providing permanent erosion-control measures to protect the river. In addition to the design, RESPEC led the environmental assessment and environmental permitting for this project.

Gravel materials in Kwigillingok are, like in much of the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, virtually nonexistent. An adjacent dry lakebed was mined to provide sand embankment, which will be topped with imported gravels. The key challenges in this project were the assessment of the potential impacts and the eventual permitting related to the river realignment and wetlands impacts for the material extraction and embankment fill.