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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 29, 2014
No.: 14-2506
Contact: Jeremy Woodrow, 907-465-8994, Jeremy.Woodrow@alaska.gov
Hannah Blankenship, 907-451-5307, Hannah.Blankenship@alaska.gov

Richardson Highway Closure Update: 1/29/14

(VALDEZ, Alaska) – The Richardson Highway from milepost 12 to 42 remains closed until further notice.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) staff continues to monitor the level of the lake formed behind the avalanche dam in Keystone Canyon. The water continues to recede, and the flooded area behind the slide is approximately 1,500 feet in length; reduced from Monday’s estimation of 2,500 feet. The area is still too unstable and dangerous for crews to safely begin clearing slide debris.

ADOT&PF crews continue to clear slide debris today at milepost 39 and are in the process of verifying the stability of snowpack. The department will make another announcement when the highway can safely be opened from milepost 19-42. This section of highway remains closed until further notice and motorists are advised to avoid the area and to respect all posted road closures. The public is not permitted past the avalanche gates.

The department will continue to post additional updates, press releases, images and video online at: dot.alaska.gov/richardsonavalanche

For further details and updates on road conditions, please visit 511.alaska.gov, dial 5-1-1, or check for 511 updates on Facebook and Twitter. ADOT&PF reminds drivers to exercise extreme caution if traveling through mountain passes in this region as there is an increased possibility for more avalanches to occur and to be aware of flaggers and heavy equipment in the roadway.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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