(VALDEZ, Alaska) –The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) began snow removal Friday on the Richardson Highway at Keystone Canyon after debris from multiple avalanches blocked the highway Jan. 24. The highway remains closed at milepost 12-18 until further notice.
Water on the north side of the slide is now completely within the banks of the Lowe River and the area is safe for snow removal. Crews from ADOT&PF mobilized equipment on the south side of the closure Thursday evening and began 24 hour snow removal operations Friday morning. The department has contracted with Harris Sand and Gravel for assistance. All operators have completed avalanche training and are equipped with avalanche beacons.
ADOT&PF is also performing tests to evaluate highway stability in the area to ensure the roadway can support heavy loads and equipment.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area and to respect posted road closures. The public is not permitted past the avalanche gates.
ADOT&PF will continue to post additional updates, press releases, images and video through the weekend 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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