Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities—Marine Mammal Monitoring App, Seward Highway Project

This project highlights an innovative component of the Seward Highway Milepost 75-90 Reconstruction Project near Girdwood, Alaska, which will replace eight bridges and realign a major curve where the highway arcs around the head of Turnagain Arm. Turnagain Arm is home to endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales, so any construction activity must be carefully planned to avoid impacting the whale population. HDR (the project’s preliminary design and environmental consultant) developed an iPad app to improve quality over pencil and rainproof paper methods. The app integrated GPS and GIS capabilities to document whale observations and enhance communication with ADOT&PF’s drilling contractor. Overall, this app helped eliminate the need for formal agency consultation, saving a year of time and expenses while keeping the whales safe.Alaska DOT&PF's Marine Mammal Monitoring App