(VALDEZ, Alaska) – The Richardson Highway at milepost 12-18 remains closed after debris from multiple avalanches blocked the highway Jan. 24.
Maintenance crews from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) began 24-hour snow removal operations Friday morning. ADOT&PF estimates it will take three to five days to complete the removal of the estimated 100,000 to 150,000 cubic yards of snow blocking the highway. The department will open the highway after it determines the roadway is stable and can safely support commercial and passenger vehicles.
ADOT&PF performed tests Friday to evaluate roadway stability. Results showed the road is stable and in good condition. Crews will continue to monitor the roadway for damage during snow removal operations.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area and to respect posted road closures. The public is not permitted past the avalanche gates.
ADOT&PF has added additional ferry service to Valdez for Monday, Feb. 3. The updated schedule is available at FerryAlaska.com. Travelers may book travel online, at their local terminal, or by calling 1-800-642-0066.
ADOT&PF continues to post additional updates, press releases, images and video 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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