Several agencies participating in the Newtok Planning Group have collaborated on geotechnical and geophysical studies at Mertarvik. In the summer of 2007, the Village Safe Water (VSW) Program of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contracted with the same drilling company to conduct geotechnical and groundwater studies and test well drilling at Mertarvik.
In the VSW study, groundwater investigations were carried out and three test well locations were recommended. One of the three locations was selected to be the first test well and a pump test was conducted.
In the USACE geotechnical study, bore samples were taken of the proposed sites for the barge landing staging area, the access road and evacuation center. The drill rig was kept at Mertarvik over several field seasons, resulting in significant savings in mobilization and demobilization costs.
In spring 2008, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF) contracted with same drilling company to take tideland samples for the new proposed barge landing. In 2010-2011, DOT/PF used same drilling contractor for geotechnical investigations of proposed runway sites and the proposed quarry site at Hill 460 at Mertarvik. In 2012, VSW also drilled a well near the Mertarvik Evacuation Center in order to provide water for that facility.
Drill rigs at Mertarvik. Photo: Bob Lundell, DOT/PF
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
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