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Knik improves and maintains infrastructure in Alaska

Posted on Thu, Oct 08, 2020

Knik FlaggerSummer months are the busy season for Knik Construction and, this year, crews wrapped up two projects in Bethel, AK. The Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway and the Bethel Parallel Runway Airport projects.

The Knik team worked hard repairing Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway at the request of the Alaska Department of Transportation. Roads take a beating in Alaska with freeze and thaw cycles creating potholes and crumbled asphalt erosion. Improvements to the Bethel highway included work on corners, shoulders and the installation of six inches of foamed asphalt with another four inches of asphalt on top. Knik has also installed culverts and added topsoil and hydro-seeding.

"Our work to improve roads and airports is very important to the Alaska economy and the health and safety of Alaska residents. These projects keep communities connected and maintain and protect the routes necessary to deliver essential goods," says Knik President Dan Hall. "We are entrusted with vital infrastructure projects and our employees take this responsibility seriously. We make every effort to hire as many local people as possible and finish our projects on time and within budget." Pictured above, Knik Flagger Wilson Green directed drivers to the work site in Bethel. Wilson is a local Bethel resident hired to work on the Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway project.

Knik Bethel Airport ProjectKnik also continued a long-term project to install a parallel runway and three taxiways at the Bethel Airport (pictured right). The project was split into three phases. Crews were most recently working on Phase III which called for expanding the primary runway safety area to a width of 500 feet along its entire 8,400-foot length.

A secondary runway embankment was constructed with a 4,600-foot by 150-foot runway safety area. Crews developed two material sites on airport property to supply the work. Over 1,000,000 cubic yards of sandy-silt material was excavated and hauled from these two sources. In prior phases, Knik installed a new standby generator module, electrical service, new runway lighting and underground fuel storage tank de-commissioning among other improvements.

As a general heavy construction company, Knik specializes in complex, logistically challenging projects in hard-to-reach places like remote bush Alaska, Guantanamo Bay, Wake Island and Midway Island. Knik crews work seasonally depending on the work which may mean moving materials via waterways in summer and constructing ice roads in the winter.

In addition to construction projects, each year Knik processes over 100,000 tons of gravel, rock, sand and other aggregate at its Platinum Pit and Quarry in Bethel. Gravel is shipped to remote sites in Western Alaska and other parts of the world by sister companies Bering Marine and Alaska Marine Lines.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska, Knik Construction

Lynden employees keep the freight moving

Posted on Fri, Apr 24, 2020

Lynden employeeLynden employees are stepping forward to meet the needs of customers, keeping the freight moving as Lynden companies have always done during difficult times. Lynden has maintained regular business operations since the COVID-19 situation arose in late February with no disruption to global shipments or supply chains.

"The safety of our people and serving our customers are our priorities during these challenging times. We've been keeping freight moving to Alaska since 1954, and we're not planning to stop now," says Chairman Jim Jansen. "Lynden companies provide critical cargo services throughout Alaska and beyond and we are committed to delivering essential supplies and services to our customers and communities."

Lynden barges, trucks and planes deliver cargo to all points in Alaska including providing a supply lifeline to much of the state whose only surface supply line is Lynden and its dedicated people. "Our customers need our support to keep their businesses operating during this time and we are also supporting state and federal agencies. Keeping delivery routes open and supplies moving is our main focus and goal," explains Lynden President Jon Burdick. "We have dealt with earthquakes, oil spills, floods and other obstacles. This situation is no different."

According to Alaska Marine Trucking President Scott Hicks, employees are demonstrating the Lynden can-do attitude each day. "I have been so proud of our teams in Alaska," he says. "They are a shining example of the personal commitment required to keep businesses open and the economy moving. I know Lynden employees are doing the same in all locations."

Safety is one of Lynden's core values and many protocols have been implemented to ensure employees are operating in a safe and secure manner throughout all Lynden areas. Lynden's safety teams maintain active communication with local and federal agencies and comply with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

"No transportation company in Alaska has a more essential and critical responsibility than we do," Jim says. "Without our service, many Alaskans would not have food and the other items essential to life. We can only meet their needs if our people are healthy, which is our No. 1 priority."

"As this situation unfolds, we are striving to offer a calm port in the storm by continuing to do our jobs as usual," Jon says. "Lynden has always responded in times of need and this is, unfortunately, one of those times. We are grateful for our dedicated employees who are dealing with additional challenges in their everyday work. They are the ones who allow us to serve our customers with minimal disruption."Lynden employee

Tags: Alaska Marine Trucking, Lynden employees, Trucking, Shipping in Alaska, Alaska, Shipping to Alaska

Lynden's Knik Construction employees first responders on the scene

Posted on Tue, Jan 28, 2020

Cone 1200x630Soldotna Knik employees Pete Hoogenboom and Aaron Verba were on their way to a paving job in Whittier recently when they came across a head-on accident on the Sterling Highway in Alaska. "It was still dark and the roads were icy," Pete says. "We were first on the scene."

The lone driver in one car was already deceased, but the other vehicle contained three passengers who were still alive. The car was badly damaged and there was a risk of an electrical or engine fire. Pete and Aaron used a chain to bend the door open and a reciprocating saw to get to the door latch. They got two of the passengers out and into Knik's warm pickup until emergency services arrived. The third passenger in the car was badly injured with a broken back, hip, legs and feet. They wisely decided not to move her, but Pete stayed in the car with her, talking to her to keep her conscious for almost two hours until the life flight arrived to the remote area.

The American Red Cross of Alaska heard of Pete and Aaron's actions and named them in the 2020 Real Heroes Awards for being Good Samaritan Heroes in the video below.

"Their actions are nothing short of heroic," says Knik Estimator Sean McKeown, but Pete is reluctant to accept the title of hero. "We did the right thing, the same that we hope someone would do for our loved ones in that situation," he says.

"Great people do great things," agrees Knik President Dan Hall. "I couldn't be prouder of these two men."

Tags: Lynden employees, Alaska, Knik Construction

Celebrating 20 years of improvements at Red Dog Mine

Posted on Fri, Dec 27, 2019

Red Dog MineTwenty years ago, NANA/Lynden Logistics, LLC successfully bid and took over the onsite trucking services for Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue, AK. The services include hauling ore concentrates, freight and fuel for the mine, which is one of the largest zinc mines in the world. In the past two decades, a core team of 50 drivers and mechanics have hauled over 57 billion pounds of zinc and lead concentrates, 320 million gallons of fuel and 1 million tons of freight between the Red Dog Mine and port site 52 miles away.

"When we took over in 1999, we inherited tractors and trailers from the prior contractor and immediately saw an opportunity to improve the equipment to a more stable, environmentally safe and productive design," explains General Manager Mark Tatlow. "We switched from a 9-axle tractor trailer set with a dolly to an 11-axle trailer set with the rear trailer connected directly to the lead trailer. This allowed us to increase our payload from 170,000 pounds to 280,000 pounds. We eliminated the dolly and pintle hitch between the two trailers so they are connected by a single connection point for increased stability. We also added a solid lid to the trailers and eliminated the side dump doors to reduce dust escaping during transport."

In 2008, NANA/Lynden improved the trailer design again to increase payload. The 91-foot train with 12-axle tractor trailer sets allows hauling of 295,500 pounds of concentrate – 15,500 pounds more than the 7-axle sets and a 74 percent increase in payload over the last 20 years. "We've probably got the best ton-mile-per-gallon numbers of anyone in the country, even though the return trip is empty," Mark says. For comparison, the payload of a typical highway truck is about 40,000 pounds.

In 2000 the team switched to a single 25,000-gallon trailer for fuel transports, allowing for 10,000 more gallons of fuel to be transported with each trip. The tanker was overbuilt with external rings to strengthen the barrel and stainless steel to resist corrosion (see photo below).

Along with the improved efficiency of the mine operation, safety and accidental spill rates have improved dramatically. With only 15 incidents in the last 20 years, this represents a 342 percent improvement over the former operator.

"We are proud of our partnership with NANA and the shareholder and non-shareholder drivers and mechanics at the mine. Each day they safely and professionally operate specialized equipment in the harsh Arctic environment and have contributed to the dramatic improvements we have seen over the past two decades," Mark says.Red Dog Mine fuel tanker

 

Tags: Alaska

Lynden ranks No. 4 in Alaska's Top 49ers

Posted on Thu, Dec 19, 2019

Top 49er luncheonLynden ranked fourth among all Alaska companies in Alaska Business Magazine's annual Top 49ers listing. Lynden employees attended the luncheon this fall in Anchorage to accept the award. Members of the Lynden team are pictured above accepting the award.

Lynden also participated in a fundraiser during the event to support the nonprofit Alaska Resource Education group whose mission is to teach students about Alaska's natural resources. "We appreciate Lynden's generous donation," says Ella Ede, Executive Director. "Our curriculum encourages students to seek careers in energy fields in Alaska like oil and mining."

Tags: Lynden, Alaska Business Monthly, Awards, Alaska shipping, Alaska, Top Alaskan companies

Big modules headed to Big Lake

Posted on Tue, Dec 17, 2019

Transporting Modules to Big Lake, AKThese oversized modules were just a few of the total picked up in Seward for transport to Big Lake, AK recently. "All loads required permits or pilot cars," explains Brandon Bovy, Lynden Transport Operations Supervisor. "We sent four drivers a day for two weeks to move them all."

Kenai Service Center Manager Andy Collins worked with the state on approving permits, and Operations Assistant Mike Gaiser was on site each day to walk through the process with the drivers. "I also rode down one of the days to oversee the project," Brandon says. "We had a very tight deadline and specific times we were required to be in Seward. We used step-deck trailers and step-deck stretch trailers to move the loads legally over the road. Everything went smoothly thanks to the expertise of our Drivers Mike Allman, Jack Sorensen, Tolo Mauga and Vic Capala."

Tags: Lynden Transport, Alaska, Oversize freight

Lynden's Hovercraft teams provide essential services in Alaska

Posted on Fri, Aug 30, 2019

Bering Marine HovercraftImagine working 46 days each year in zero visibility. Now imagine being responsible for safely transporting people and freight in these conditions. For the professional mariners working on Lynden's Bering Marine hovercraft team, it's all part of the job. Five times each day, they load up the AP-188 hovercraft with 60 ENI Petroleum employees and safely transport them roundtrip from Prudhoe Bay to Spy Island, a drill site near Oliktok Point, AK. Six Bering Marine captains and deck hands support the project which also includes hauling freight for ENI and operating as a medivac standby vessel.

"Our ENI partnership is a highly successful operation," says Port Engineer Steve Isaacs. "Over the past decade we've made over 5,000 trips to the Spy Island drill site, carrying over 50,000 passengers and over 20 million pounds of freight. We've been able to prove the value and reliability of this type of vessel in this environment. It's hard to compete with a machine like our hovercrafts".

Hovercraft freightWhile the North Slope crew is hard at work in Prudhoe Bay, another three members of the hovercraft team are in Bethel delivering mail and essential freight to remote villages in the western part of Alaska. This service, which began in the 1990s, provides delivery to villages on the Kuskokwim River throughout the year. The winding river presents its own challenges with traffic from snow machines in the winter and boats in the summer.

Captain Paul "Duke" Bischoff spent 15 years in the Navy's hovercraft program before joining Lynden. "I really enjoy operating this type of craft because of the special challenges while maneuvering over land and ice, as well as the frequent high-wind situations we get in the arctic," he says. "Combined with the changing conditions at our landing site during the ice formation and breakup, you have an operation that definitely keeps you on your toes."

From September to February, the six members of the hovercraft team are the only mariners on the entire North Slope. "No other merchant marine works in the arctic that time of year," Steve explains. "Our hovercraft team serves as the medivac and lifeline for emergency situations in subzero temperatures."

A few years ago, the team started a spring cleanup program, using the unique capabilities of the hovercraft to pick up ice road debris during breakup. "Our hovercraft is the only vessel that can reach these areas during the spring thaw. We are doing our part to keep the arctic clean," Steve says.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Hovercraft, Green Lynden, Environmental efforts, Shipping in Alaska, Alaska

Old friends reunite in Valdez

Posted on Tue, Jul 16, 2019

Marie Blood and family at Lynden Valdez eventA Lynden customer appreciation event in Valdez brought old friends together. Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen (far right) is pictured with Marie Blood, wife of Slim Blood, Lynden's first Alaska employee. Slim opened Lynden's first Fairbanks terminal in 1958 and established Lynden's early reputation for customer service. The new location was a WWII Quonset hut and meant drivers didn't have to unload their own trucks or stay overnight. Marie, her son Russ, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all attended the event in Valdez. "Between us, we could name every Alcan driver in the pictures in the #27 museum," Jim says. "Marie hosted dinners for the drivers when they arrived in Fairbanks, making them feel at home. She now resides in Valdez."

Tags: Lynden employees, Lynden History, Alaska, Drivers, Celebration

Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on Fri, May 31, 2019

Jim JansenThe Alaska Aviation Museum presented Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen with a Lifetime Achievement Award recently and inducted him into its Hall of Fame. The annual Hall of Fame event celebrates pilots and entrepreneurs who have shaped Alaska’s aviation history.

Jim earned his pilot’s license in 1965. In 1967, he was driving a truck at the remote Kennecott mine and also flying people and supplies from Anchorage to the mine in a Piper Comanche. Over the past 50 years, he has flown various aircraft including the Stinson 108-3, Cessna 185, Beech Baron, Turbo Commander and King Air in Alaska. He is also Type Rated in the Lockheed Hercules. A 16,500-hour ATP rated pilot, Jim has flown his Cessna 185 for 41 years and the Lynden King Air for the past 22 years. The creation of Lynden Air Cargo in 1995 combined Jim’s love of aviation with his vision of a multi-mode transportation company in Alaska.

"The Alaska Aviation Museum greatly appreciates the tremendous contributions Jim Jansen has made to Alaska’s aviation, transportation and infrastructure development and welcomes him into the Hall of Fame," says Board Member and Past President Bill Odom.

Tags: Awards, Alaska

Lynden's Knik Construction recognized by the State of Alaska

Posted on Thu, May 02, 2019

Knik Award 1200x630Knik Construction received both the Contractor of the Year and Distinguished Excellence Awards from the Alaska Department of Transportation Civil Rights Office. The awards recognize Knik’s commitment and dedication to the state’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in the South Coast and Central Districts of Alaska. According to Norma Lucero of the Department of Transportation, this is the first time a prime contractor has won an award in two separate districts in the same year. Knik President Dan Hall is pictured above receiving the award from Dennis Good, Civil Rights Programs & Compliance Specialist. On Dan’s right are Alicia Siira, Associated General Contractor Executive Director, and John Mackinnon, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner.

"We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts to work with disadvantaged business," Dan says.

Tags: Awards, Alaska, Knik Construction

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