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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 12, 2015
No.: 15-2516
Contact: Meadow Bailey, (907) 451-2240, meadow.bailey@alaska.gov

At this time the road is open ONLY to preauthorized loads.
TRUCKS WITHOUT PREAUTHORIZATION WILL NOT BE ALLOWED THROUGH.

Dalton Highway Open to Limited Traffic
Travel Limited to Trucks Carrying Critical Loads

CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW
Dalton Highway photo
Dalton Highway photo
Dalton Highway photo
Dalton Highway photo

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) opened the Dalton Highway to limited traffic at 8:30 a.m. Thirty trucks, carrying what was identified as the most critical loads, are permitted to travel north to Prudhoe Bay. Immediately following, the road will be closed for inspection and maintenance. If the inspection reveals the road is safe, 30 additional trucks will travel south from Prudhoe Bay. This process repeat, alternating between north and southbound traffic, as long as road conditions are stable.

ADOT&PF and contractors Cruz Construction and Nanuq-AFC worked together, diverting water from the Sag River off the Dalton Highway to improve the road surface. This morning, the effort paid off, and the flow of water over the road between Mile 399 and 405 diminished to a point where vehicles could safely travel.

“I am proud of the tremendous teamwork and herculean efforts of ADOT&PF employees, Cruz Construction and Nanuq-AFC,” said Marc Luiken, ADOT&PF Commissioner. “Everyone involved recognized the importance of the situation, and they rose to the challenge. The conditions are cold and harsh, and the magnitude of this event is daunting. Nonetheless, crews have worked around the clock with the singular goal of opening the Dalton Highway."

Currently, there are 28 people and 26 pieces of equipment working to keep the road open. Excavators are working off the road to break ice and dig a diversion ditch to channel water away from the road. Side dumps are being used to truck snow to the road to build compacted berms to keep water off the road. Plows and graders are working to widen and improve the road surface so it is safe for travel.

Although the road is open, a lot of work remains, and ADOT&PF anticipates future challenges. The Sag River remains difficult to predict, and the warmer spring temperatures due to reach the North Slope will melt snow and ice, producing more water and possibly more instability.

Updates on the Dalton Highway are being posted daily at these locations:

 

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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