How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days

Earthquake damage sustained on southbound lanes near Mirror Lake in Alaska.

Shaking from the large earthquake that shuddered through Anchorage, Alaska last week was strong enough to turn smooth asphalt roads into broken, jagged depressions of rubble. But within just a few days, crews managed to repair the worst of the damage, unsnarling traffic in Alaska’s largest city.

Anchorage has a population of nearly 300,000 people spread across more than 1,900 square miles — an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. That space is threaded by roads, asphalt lifelines of the population. When the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck last week, some of the most visceral images showed roads that had broken apart. But within days, many of these same cracked highways had been smoothed back into ribbons of pavement by crews…

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