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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2015
No.: 15-2517
Contact: Meadow Bailey, (907) 451-2240, meadow.bailey@alaska.gov

Dalton Highway Closed Except for Critical Loads
All Loads are Being Approved Through the Dalton Unified Incident Command

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
Dalton Highway photo
Empty tankers move south near Mile 400 Dalton Highway.

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – Beginning this morning, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) successfully led several permitted loads through Mile 399-405 of the Dalton Highway. This section has been closed to traffic since last Sunday. The Dalton Highway remains closed except for critical loads that have been pre-authorized by the Dalton Unified Incident Command.

As of 6 p.m., 55 trucks had transited the closed section of the highway carrying critical loads pre-authorized by the Dalton Unified Incident Command. Convoys have traveled the highway in both directions. Between convoys, the road is inspected and maintained to ensure conditions continue to be safe for travel.

Response to the flooding on the Dalton Highway is being managed by the Dalton Unified Incident Command, a joint effort between state agencies and private industry. The Unified Incident Command consists of: ADOT&PF, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and the North Slope Borough.

The goals of the Unified Incident Command are to:

  • Keep all responders and the public safe;
  • Re-establish Dalton Highway traffic flow;
  • Ensure accurate and timely release of information to stakeholders and the public;
  • Coordinate to optimize highway traffic flow;
  • Develop a logistics plan to support North Slope needs; and
  • Protect infrastructure and the environment.

"The partnership between the State of Alaska and industry during this phenomenal event is essential," said Mike Coffey, ADOT&PF Statewide Director of Maintenance and Operations and the State Incident Commander. Together, we are able to identify priorities and systematically address those needs. There is a lot of pressure to get loads through, but having a systematic approach is in everyone's best interest and will ensure that the fragile road surface is protected."

As long as conditions on the road remain safe, small groups of pre-authorized trucks will be allowed to travel the highway. A primary objective at this time is to get fuel trucks to Prudhoe Bay. ADOT&PF will make a determination tomorrow based on road conditions whether tanker trucks carrying fuel will be allowed to transit the closed portion of the highway. The Dalton Unified Incident Command will be instrumental in coordinating the efforts to deliver fuel to the North Slope.

Updates on the Dalton Highway are being posted daily in 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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