Wood, in Barrow!?

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Wood, in Barrow!?

Hi Hollis,

I am shocked to hear that the largest wooden structure in Alaska is in Barrow, which doesn't have any trees! Why did they chose to use wood to build the utilidor? That is really interesting.. I also like thinking about this engineering feat and the assessed risk for being able to have what most of work call 'normal amentities' such as running water and power! Thanks for sharing this.

Haha, I thought so, too,

Haha, I thought so, too, Sarah! It's 3.2 miles of underground wooden tunnel -- they used highly treated wood that will hold in warmth but not TOO much warmth that it would affect the surrounding permafrost. I think it also served as an "easy" fix if an area of the utilidor were to have issues. Metal would have conducted too much heat and with the moisture issues, would be harder to repair. Glad you like the writeup -- you should set up a tour for the next time you come :)