Crews Starting Repair Work on the Dalton Highway
Road remains closed, but water levels have dropped considerably.
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – This evening, during the daily briefing, Mike Coffey, Maintenance and Operations Director for the Alaska Department of Tranpsortation and Public Facilites, could barely contain his enthusiasm as he shared with the Dalton Unified Incident Command that flood levels had dropped enought to start repair work immediately.
"This is a good day," said Coffey. "Over the next 24-hours activity will ramp up immensely. This is what we've prepared for and what we've been waiting for. Today we were able to give crews the directive to start repairing the Dalton Highway to reestablish the lifeline to Prudhoe Bay and the North Slope A very good day indeed."
On the north end of the Dalton Highway, near Mile 314, culverts are being installed to facilitate the flow of flood waters back into the main channel of the Sag River and to provide access to the Dalton Highway south.
On the south end, near Mile 335, crews will continue to excavate, haul and stockpile materials necessary for rebuilding miles of washed out highway.
The priority at this point is access to materials, such as rock and gravel. The current material sites are far from the areas of damage and the round-trip hauls are inefficient. New materials sites, closer to the washouts, will be developed over the next several days.
The Dalton Highway remains closed from Mile 335.5 to Mile 413. There is no current estimate on when the road will reopen, that information should be available in the next few days, after crews have had a chance to start the repair work.
Updates on the Dalton Highway are being posted 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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