President’s Letter, May 2020


Summer is here! Although it may not seem like the summer of our pasts (no graduation celebrations, no big events for Memorial Day), the weather is warmer and sunny (at least today it is!). I hope you’ve all been able to get out and enjoy some of the nice weather to help make things feel a bit like normal in these still trying and exhausting times.

The legislature wrapped up their Second Regular Session on May 20, 2020. But I use “wrapped up” loosely, as many things were postponed due to the difficulties of trying to meet and conduct sessions remotely, including many of the bills we were tracking. Unless these bills are specifically called to be addressed in a special session, these bills will die this year. However, we’re planning on bringing them all back to life next year and picking up where we left off with advocacy for these issues.

Before ending session, the legislature ratified the Governor’s plan for nearly $1.5B in federal coronavirus aid funds. More than $560M in municipal aid will be distributed to cities and boroughs to help offset the costs of this pandemic. But our state was having budget concerns even before the pandemic – what happens now? How do we move forward when we are now facing not only existing budget concerns but also a pandemic? How do we address education, healthcare, and infrastructure when these institutions were already in a financial crisis before the coronavirus and now face even deeper budget issues? I don’t have the answers, yet. But I do know that as an organization, APDC will continue to invest in our state, its people, and its infrastructure. Together, we’ll continue to advocate for the design community to ensure Alaska prospers. Now get out and enjoy the beauties of this wonderful state over the summer and I’ll see you all in the fall!

Erica Jensen,

APDC President

Postponed: William W. (Bill) Mendenhall, Jr. Celebration of Life

Mendenhall photoA celebration of life for William W. (Bill) Mendenhall, Jr., has been postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. Bill passed away Feb. 19, 2020, just shy of his 97th birthday, surrounded by family and friends. He was delighted to meet his first great-grandchild just two weeks before his death.

Many in the APDC community remember Bill fondly as a mentor and leader. Bill began teaching at UAF in 1955 and continued to teach classes for almost 20 years after his official retirement in 1987. He also was a regular participant in the annual Alaska Surveying and Mapping Conference (ASMC), inducted into the ASMC Hall of Fame in 1996 and honored at the Hall of Fame awards ceremony again in 2014.

Mendenhall held professional registrations as a civil engineer, land surveyor, and mechanical engineer and was involved in many notable projects over his career. He received many honors for contributions to his profession and community and was the last surviving founding member of the Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation board, where he served for more than 50 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Bill’s name to the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation, UAF Mendenhall Scholarship Fund, or UAF William and Nancy Mendenhall Student Travel Fund.

To read the full obituary from the Fairbanks Daily News – Miner, click here.

To donate to a scholarship, endowed in Bill Mendenhall’s name, click here.

For information regarding the travel endowment, established by Bill & Nancy Mendenhall in 2014, click here.

President’s Letter, April 2020


Happy Spring time everyone! By now, we’ve been hunkering down for over a month so hopefully you have been able to work out the major kinks and have been able to continue productivity, even if it looks very different from normal work! I’m anxious for all our staff to return to the office, but understand it needs to be a process to ensure the health and safety of all.

We continue to follow applicable State bills and have written letters to the respective legislators with our support or opposition. I’m happy to report that HB 197 – Extend Seismic Hazard Safety Commission has passed!

We are also closely following the Governor’s budget and his Revised Program Legislative (RPL) Packet, which includes use of funding from the CARES Act to support various programs and communities throughout the state. House Finance met on Wednesday, April 22 to discuss current state budget issues and again on Friday, April 24th specifically to discuss COVID-19 issues. Governor Dunleavy is requesting the legislature to approve his RPL by April 29th so fund distributions can begin May 1. We will continue to track this.

I hope you are all safe and healthy and enjoying this glorious spring weather! Stay safe!


New Manager to Lead R&M’s Structural Engineering Group

MDA_RMMark Anderson, PE recently joined R&M Consultants, Inc (R&M) as the firm’s Group Manager of Structural Engineering.

Mark has 40 years of Alaskan experience in all aspects of structural engineering, including analysis and design, specification and design criteria development, seismic qualification, seismic hazard evaluation and mitigation, pipe stress analysis and piping system support / restraint design, failure analysis, peer review, and QC.

To read the full press release, click here.

AK DOT/PF Issues COVID-19 Notice to Contractors

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska State Governor issued several health mandates regarding the closure of many business, travel prohibitions, a mandated quarantine period for those traveling into Alaska, and a requirement for social distancing.

In light of these mandates, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities has issued a notice to all contractors and consultants performing work for ongoing highway and airport projects. The notice indicates that work may proceed, and must be in accordance with the state’s Health Mandates as well as the COVID-19 Management Plan, as developed by the Associated General Contractors of Alaska & DOT/PF.

To read the full notice, click here.