Alaska Highway

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Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway highlighted in red
Route information
Length2,232 km [1]  (1,387 mi)
(as of 2012)
Existed1942 [2] –present
Major junctions
South endBC-2.svgBC-97.svg Hwy 2  / Hwy 97 (John Hart Highway) in Dawson Creek, BC
Major intersections
North endAlaska 2 shield.svgAlaska 4 shield.svg AK-2  / AK-4 (Richardson Highway) at Delta Junction, AK
CountriesCanada, United States
Provinces British Columbia
States Alaska
Territories Yukon
Major cities Fort St. John, BC; Fort Nelson, BC; Watson Lake, YT; Whitehorse, YT; Tok, AK; Delta Junction, AK
Highway system
    BC-95A.svg Hwy 95A BC 97BC-97A.svg Hwy 97A
    Yukon Highway 37.svg Hwy 37 Hwy 1Yukon Highway 2.svg Hwy 2
    Alaska 1 shield.svg AK-1 AK-2Alaska 3 shield.svg AK-3

    The Alaska Highway (French : Route de l'Alaska; also known as the Alaskan Highway, Alaska-Canadian Highway, or ALCAN Highway) was constructed during World War II to connect the contiguous United States to Alaska across Canada. It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon. When it was completed in 1942, it was about 2,700 kilometres (1,700 mi) long, but in 2012, it was only 2,232 km (1,387 mi). This is due to the realignments of the highway over the years, which has rerouted and straightened many sections. The highway opened to the public in 1948. [2] Once legendary for being a rough, challenging drive, the highway is now paved over its entire length. [1] Its component highways are British Columbia Highway 97, Yukon Highway 1, and Alaska Route 2.


    An informal system of historic mileposts developed over the years to denote major stopping points. Delta Junction, at the end of the highway, makes reference to its location at "Historic Milepost 1422". [1] It is at this point that the Alaska Highway meets the Richardson Highway, which continues 155 km (96 mi) to the city of Fairbanks. This is often regarded, though unofficially, as the northwestern portion of the Alaska Highway, with Fairbanks at Historic Milepost 1520. [1] Mileposts on this stretch of highway are measured from the port of Valdez on Prince William Sound, rather than the Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway is popularly (but unofficially) considered part of the Pan-American Highway, which extends south (despite its discontinuity in Panama) to Argentina. [3]



    Overview map for routes A and B, 1938 Proposed Alaska Hwy routes 1938.png
    Overview map for routes A and B, 1938

    Proposals for a highway to Alaska originated in the 1920s. Thomas MacDonald, director of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, dreamed of an international highway spanning the United States and Canada. In order to promote the highway, in 1933 Slim Williams originally traveled the proposed route by dogsled. Since much of the route would pass through Canada, support from the Canadian government was crucial. However, the Canadian government perceived no value in putting up the required funds to build the road, since the only part of Canada that would benefit was not more than a few thousand people in Yukon.

    In 1929, the British Columbia government proposed a highway to Alaska to encourage economic development and tourism. American President Herbert Hoover appointed a board with American and three Canadian members to evaluate the idea. Its 1931 report supported the idea for economic reasons, but both American and Canadian members recognized that a highway would benefit the American military in Alaska. In 1933, the joint commission proposed the U.S. government contribute $2 million of the capital cost, with the $12 million balance borne by the Canadian and BC governments. [5] The Great Depression and the Canadian government's lack of support caused the project to not proceed.

    When the United States approached Canada again in February 1936, the Canadian government refused to commit to spending money on a road connecting the United States. The Canadians also worried about the military implications, fearing that in a war between Japan and North America, the United States would use the road to prevent Canadian neutrality. During a June 1936 visit to Canada, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told Prime Minister W. L. M. King that a highway to Alaska through Canada could be important in quickly reinforcing the American territory during a foreign crisis. Roosevelt became the first American to publicly discuss the military benefits of a highway in an August speech in Chautauqua, New York. He again mentioned the idea during King's visit to Washington in March 1937, suggesting that a $30 million highway would be helpful as part of a larger defense against Japan that would include, the Americans hoped, a larger Canadian military presence on the Pacific coast. Roosevelt remained a supporter of the highway, telling Cordell Hull in August 1937 that he wanted a road built as soon as possible. [6] By 1938, Duff Pattullo, the BC premier, favored a route through Prince George. The U.S. offered either a $15 million interest-free loan, or to cover half the construction costs. [5]

    The December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and beginning of the Pacific Theater in World War II, coupled with Japanese threats to the west coast of North America and the Aleutian Islands, changed the priorities for both nations. On February 6, 1942, the construction of the Alaska Highway was approved by the United States Army and the project received the authorization from the U.S. Congress and Roosevelt to proceed five days later. Canada agreed to allow construction as long as the United States bore the full cost, and that the road and other facilities in Canada be turned over to Canadian authority after the war ended. It proved unimportant for the military because 99 percent of the supplies to Alaska during the war were sent by sea from San Francisco, Seattle, and Prince Rupert. [7] [ better source needed ]

    A caterpillar tractor with dozer widens the roadway of the Alaska Highway, 1942 Alcan construction.jpg
    A caterpillar tractor with dozer widens the roadway of the Alaska Highway, 1942
    Soldiers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meeting in the middle after completing construction of the Alaska Highway Alaska highway refines sims alfred jalufkamet.jpg
    Soldiers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meeting in the middle after completing construction of the Alaska Highway


    The Americans preferred Route A which, starting at Prince George, went northwest to Hazelton, along the Stikine River, by Atlin, Teslin and Tagish Lakes, and from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Fairbanks, Alaska, via the Tanana Valley. However, the route was vulnerable to possible enemy attack from the sea, experienced steep grades and heavy snowfall, and had no airbases along the way.

    The Canadians favored Route B. This also started at Prince George, but followed the Rocky Mountain Trench up the valleys of the Parsnip and Finlay Rivers to Finlay Forks and Sifton Pass, then north to Frances Lake and the Pelly River in the Yukon. From there it went to Dawson City and down the Yukon Valley to connect the Richardson Highway to Fairbanks. The advantages of this inland route was the safe distance from enemy planes, and 209 miles (336 km) shorter with lower elevations enabling lower construction and maintenance costs. The disadvantages were the bypassing of respective airbases, and Whitehorse, the principal town in the Yukon. Optional variations in the southern portion of this route were via Vanderhoof to the west or Monkman Pass to the east.

    Route C, the Prairie option, advocated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, was the only practical one. It was far enough inland from enemy planes and it linked the airfields of the Northwest Staging Route that conveyed lend-lease aircraft from the United States to the Soviet Union. This option encountered more level terrain, not ascending a pass over 4,250 feet (1,300 m). There was also a railhead at Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and a winter trail from there to Fort Nelson, 300 miles (480 km) to the northwest. It followed the Rocky Mountain Trench toward Dawson City before turning west to Fairbanks. [8]


    The road was originally built mostly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a supply route during World War II. In 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers assigned more than 10,000 men, about a third of whom were black soldiers, members of three newly formed African-American segregated regiments. [9] There were four main thrusts in building the route: southeast from Delta Junction, Alaska, toward a linkup at Beaver Creek, Yukon; north then west from Dawson Creek (an advance group started from Fort Nelson, British Columbia, after traveling on winter roads on frozen marshland from railway stations on the Northern Alberta Railways); both east and west from Whitehorse after being ferried in via the White Pass and Yukon Route railway. The Army commandeered equipment of all kinds, including local riverboats, railway locomotives, and housing originally meant for use in southern California.

    The official start of construction took place on March 9, 1942, after hundreds of pieces of construction equipment were moved on priority trains by the Northern Alberta Railways to the northeastern part of British Columbia near Mile 0 at Dawson Creek. Construction accelerated through the spring as the winter weather faded away and crews were able to work from both the northern and southern ends; they were spurred on after reports of the Japanese invasion of Kiska Island and Attu Island in the Aleutians. During construction the road was nicknamed the "oil can highway" by the work crews due to the large number of discarded oil cans and fuel drums that marked the road's progress. [10] The construction crew had also passed through an Indigenous village known as Champagne (Shadhala-ra) which they used to set up camp. [11] Unfortunately, disease spread and nearly wiped out the indigenous population of the village. [11] [12] After the war, the survivors left the village to find work, leaving the location a ghost town. [11] [12]

    On September 24, 1942, crews from both directions met at Mile 588 at what became named Contact Creek, [13] at the British Columbia-Yukon border at the 60th parallel; the entire route was completed October 28, 1942, with the northern linkup at Mile 1202, Beaver Creek, and the highway was dedicated on November 20, 1942, at Soldier's Summit.

    Replica log bridge at Aishihik River crossing Aishihik River.jpg
    Replica log bridge at Aishihik River crossing

    Although it was completed on October 28, 1942, and its completion was celebrated at Soldier's Summit on November 21 (and broadcast by radio, the exact outdoor temperature censored due to wartime concerns), the "highway" was not usable by general vehicles until 1943. Even then there were many steep grades, a poor surface, switchbacks to gain and descend hills, and few guardrails. Bridges, which progressed during 1942 from pontoon bridges to temporary log bridges, were replaced with steel bridges where necessary. A replica log bridge, the Canyon Creek bridge, can be seen at the Aishihik River crossing; the bridge was rebuilt in 1987 and refurbished in 2005 by the Yukon government where it functions as a popular tourist attraction. The easing of the Japanese invasion threat resulted in no more contracts being given to private contractors for upgrading of specific sections.

    Some 100 miles (160 km) of route between Burwash Landing and Koidern, Yukon, became nearly impassable in May and June 1943 due to permafrost thawing under the road and destroying the layer of delicate vegetation that held the road together. A corduroy road was built to restore the route, and corduroy still underlies old sections of highway in the area. Modern construction methods do not allow the permafrost to thaw, either by building a gravel berm on top or replacing the vegetation and soil immediately with gravel. The Burwash-Koidern section, however, is still a problem as the new highway built there in the late 1990s continues to experience frost heave.

    Pincers on Japan and Look to the North , both 1944 productions, were National Film Board of Canada documentaries that depicted the construction of the Alaska Highway. [14] [15]

    Post war

    The original agreement between Canada and the United States regarding construction of the highway stipulated that its Canadian portion be turned over to Canada six months after the end of the war. [16] This took place on April 1, 1946, when the U.S. Army transferred control of the road through Yukon and British Columbia to the Canadian Army, Northwest Highway System. The Alaskan section was completely paved during the 1960s. The lower 50 miles of the Canadian portion were paved in 1959, [17] but the remainder was largely gravel. While the entire route is now completely paved (mostly with bituminous surface treatment), as late as the mid-1980s the highway still included sections of winding dusty road sandwiched between high quality reconstructed paved segments. [18]

    The Milepost , an extensive guide book to the Alaska Highway and other highways in Alaska and Northwest Canada, was first published in 1949 and continues to be published annually as the foremost guide to travelling the highway.

    The settlement of Destruction Bay was originally a work camp for the highway. Destructionwelcome.jpg
    The settlement of Destruction Bay was originally a work camp for the highway.

    The British Columbia government owns the first 82.6 miles (132.9 km) of the highway, the only portion paved during the late 1960s and 1970s. Public Works Canada manages the highway from Mile 82.6 (km 133) to Historic Mile 630. The Yukon government owns the highway from Historic Mile 630 to Historic Mile 1016 (from near Watson Lake to Haines Junction), and manages the remainder to the U.S. border at Historic Mile 1221. The State of Alaska owns the highway within that state (Mile 1221 to Mile 1422).

    The Alaska Highway was built for military purposes and its route was not ideal for postwar development of northern Canada. [19] Rerouting in Canada has shortened the highway by about 35 miles (56 km) since 1947, mostly by eliminating winding sections and sometimes by bypassing residential areas. The historic milepost markings are therefore no longer accurate but are still important as local location references. Some old sections of the highway are in use as local roads, while others are left to deteriorate and still others are plowed up. Four sections form local residential streets in Whitehorse and Fort Nelson, and others form country residential roadways outside of Whitehorse. Although Champagne, Yukon was bypassed in 2002, the old highway is still completely in service for that community until a new direct access road is built.

    Rerouting continues, expected to continue in the Yukon through 2009[ needs update ], with the Haines Junction-Beaver Creek section covered by the Canada-U.S. Shakwak Agreement. The new Donjek River bridge was opened September 26, 2007, replacing a 1952 bridge. Under Shakwak, U.S. federal highway money is spent for work done by Canadian contractors who win tenders issued by the Yukon government. The Shakwak Project completed the Haines Highway upgrades in the 1980s between Haines Junction and the Alaska Panhandle, then funding was stalled by Congress for several years.

    The Milepost shows the Canadian section of the highway now to be about 1,187 miles (1,910 km), but the first milepost inside Alaska is 1222. The actual length of the highway inside Alaska is no longer clear because rerouting, as in Canada, has shortened the route, but unlike Canada, mileposts in Alaska are not recalibrated. The BC and Yukon governments and Public Works Canada have recalibrated kilometre posts. The latest BC recalibration was carried out in 1990; using its end-point at the border at Historic Mile 630, the Yukon government has recalibrated in three stages: in 2002, from Mile 630 to the west end of the Champagne revision; in fall 2005, to a point just at the southeast shore of Kluane Lake, and in fall 2008, to the border with Alaska.

    There are historical mileposts along the B.C. and Yukon sections of the highway, installed in 1992, that note specific locations, although the posts no longer represent accurate driving distance. There are 80 mileposts in B.C., 70 in Yukon and 16 in Alaska with a simple number marker of the original mile distance. There are 31 "historic signs" in B.C., 22 in Yukon and 5 in Alaska, identifying the significance of the location. There are 18 interpretive panels in B.C., 14 in Yukon and 5 in Alaska which give detailed text information at a turn-off parking area.

    The portion of the Alaska Highway in Alaska is designated Alaska Route 2. In Yukon, it is Highway 1 (designated in 1968 [20] ) and in British Columbia, Highway 97. The portion of the Alaska Highway in Alaska is also unsigned Interstate A-1 and unsigned Interstate A-2.

    Route markings

    A monument at the southern terminus of the Alaska Highway (Dawson Creek) Alaska Highway Start.jpg
    A monument at the southern terminus of the Alaska Highway (Dawson Creek)

    The Canadian section of the road was delineated with mileposts, based on the road as it was in 1947, but over the years, reconstruction steadily shortened the distance between some of those mileposts. In 1978, metric signs were placed on the highway, and the mileposts were replaced with kilometre posts at the approximate locations of a historic mileage of equal value, e.g. km post 1000 was posted about where historical Mile 621 would have been posted.

    As reconstruction continues to shorten the highway, the kilometre posts, at 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) intervals, were recalibrated along the B.C. section of road to reflect the driving distances in 1990. The section of highway covered by the 1990 recalibration has since been rendered shorter by further realignments, such as near Summit Pass and between Muncho Lake and Iron Creek.

    View of the highway at Mile 1,337, facing east Alaska Highway Mile 1337 (Looking Eastbound).jpg
    View of the highway at Mile 1,337, facing east

    Based on where those values left off, new Yukon kilometre posts were erected in fall 2002 between the B.C. border and the west end of the new bypass around Champagne, Yukon; in 2005, additional recalibrated posts continued from there to the east shore of Kluane Lake near Silver City; and in fall 2008, from Silver City to the boundary with Alaska. Old kilometre posts, based on the historic miles, remained on the highway, after the first two recalibrations, from those points around Kluane Lake to the Alaska border. The B.C. and Yukon sections also have a small number of historic mileposts, printed on oval-shaped signs, at locations of historic significance; these special signs were erected in 1992 on the occasion of the highway's 50th anniversary.

    The Alaska portion of the highway is still marked by mileposts at 1-mile (1.6 km) intervals, although they no longer represent accurate driving distance, due to reconstruction.

    A monument at the northern terminus of the Alaska Highway (Delta Junction) Alaska Highway End (Delta Junction).jpg
    A monument at the northern terminus of the Alaska Highway (Delta Junction)

    The historic mileposts are still used by residents and businesses along the highway to refer to their location, and in some cases are also used as postal addresses. The community Wonowon, British Columbia, is named by its location at mile 101, spoken "one-oh-one".

    Residents and travelers, and the government of the Yukon, do not use "east" and "west" to refer to direction of travel on the Yukon section, even though this is the predominant bearing of the Yukon portion of the highway; "north" and "south" are used, referring to the south (Dawson Creek) and north (Delta Junction) termini of the highway. This is an important consideration for travelers who may otherwise be confused, particularly when a westbound travel routes southwestward or even due south to circumvent a natural obstacle such as Kluane Lake.

    Some B.C. sections west of Fort Nelson also route more east-to-west, with southwest bearings in some section; again, "north" is used in preference to "west".

    Since 1949 The Milepost , an exhaustive guide to the Alaska Highway and all other routes through the region, has been published each year.

    Proposed U.S. Route 97 designation

    US 97 (1961).svg

    U.S. Route 97

    Location Alaska Route 2
    HistoryProposed, [21] but never designated

    The portion of the Alaska Highway in Alaska was planned to become part of the United States Numbered Highway System and to be signed as part of U.S. Route 97 (US 97). In 1953, the British Columbia government renumbered a series of highways to Highway 97 between the U.S. border at Osoyoos, US 97's northern terminus, and Dawson Creek.[ citation needed ] The Alaska International Rail and Highway Commission lobbied for the designation of Highway 97 from Fairbanks to Mexico City in the late 1950s. [22] Certain prior editions of United States Geological Survey topographic maps, mostly published during the 1950s, bore the US 97 highway shield along or near portions of the current AK-2. [23] In 1964, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved an extension of US 97 from the Yukon border to Fairbanks along AK-2, conditional to Yukon renumbering its portion of the Alaska Highway; [21] the Yukon government declined to renumber its portion of the highway and approval was withdrawn in 1968. [23]

    Route description

    Alaska Highway between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake AlaskaHWY.JPG
    Alaska Highway between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake

    The pioneer road completed in 1942 was about 1,680 miles (2,700 km) from Dawson Creek to Delta Junction. The Army then turned the road over to the Public Roads Administration (PRA), which then began putting out section contracts to private road contractors to upgrade selected sections of the road. These sections were upgraded, with removal of excess bends and steep grades; often, a traveler could identify upgraded sections by seeing the telephone line along the PRA-approved route alignment. When the Japanese invasion threat eased, the PRA stopped putting out new contracts. Upon hand-off to Canada in 1946, the route was 1,422 miles (2,288 km) from Dawson Creek to Delta Junction.

    Border crossing at Port Alcan station Portalcan.jpg
    Border crossing at Port Alcan station

    The route follows a northwest then northward course from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson. On October 16, 1957, a suspension bridge crossing the Peace River just south of Fort St. John collapsed. A new bridge was built a few years later. At Fort Nelson, the road turns west and crosses the Rocky Mountains, before resuming a westward course at Coal River. The highway crossed the Yukon-BC border nine times from Mile 590 to Mile 773, six of those crossings were from Mile 590 to Mile 596. After passing the south end of Kluane Lake, the highway follows a north-northwest course to the Alaska border, then northwest to the terminus at Delta Junction.

    Postwar rebuilding has not shifted the highway more than 10 miles (16 km) from the original alignment, and in most cases, by less than 3 miles (4.8 km). It is not clear if it still crosses the Yukon-BC border six times from Mile 590 to Mile 596.[ why? ]

    Interstate Highway System

    Interstate A1 and Interstate A2

    LocationCanada to Tok (A1)
    Tok to Delta Junction (A2)
    Length325.38 mi (523.65 km)

    The Alaska portion of the Alaska Highway is an unsigned part of the Interstate Highway System east of Fairbanks. The entire length of Interstate A-2 follows Route 2 from the George Parks Highway (Interstate A-4) junction in Fairbanks to Tok, east of which Route 2 carries Interstate A-1 off the Tok Cut-Off Highway to the international border. [24] [25] Only a short piece of the Richardson Highway in Fairbanks is built to freeway standards.

    Major intersections

    The following is a list of major intersections along the Alaska Highway: [26] [27] [28]

    Province / Territory / StateRegional District/BoroughLocationkmmiDestinationsNotes
    British Columbia Peace River Regional District Dawson Creek 0.00.0BC-2.svgBC-49.svg Hwy 2 east to Hwy 49  Spirit River, Grande Prairie, Edmonton
    BC-97.svg Hwy 97 south (John Hart Highway) Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Prince George
    Alaska Highway southern terminus
    Taylor 53.533.2Crosses the Peace River
    Fort St. John 71.744.6100th Street – Cecil Lake, Fairview
    Charlie Lake 84.252.3BC-29.svg Hwy 29 south Hudson's Hope, Chetwynd
    Northern Rockies Fort Nelson 452.8281.450 Street, Liard Street
    481.2299.0BC-77.svg Hwy 77 north (Liard Highway) Fort Liard, Fort Simpson
    594.2369.2 Summit Pass – 1,267 m (4,157 ft)
    760.1472.3Crosses the Liard River
    Yukon Unorganized 902.7560.9British Columbia – Yukon border
    British Columbia Stikine Region
    ( Unorganized )
    903.9561.7British Columbia – Yukon border
    Yukon Unorganized 906.6563.3British Columbia – Yukon border
    British Columbia Stikine Region
    ( Unorganized )
    915.0568.6British Columbia – Yukon border
    Yukon Unorganized 916.8569.7British Columbia – Yukon border
    British Columbia Stikine Region
    ( Unorganized )
    919.2571.2British Columbia – Yukon border
    Yukon Unorganized near Lower Post 964.1599.1British Columbia – Yukon border
    BC-97.svg Hwy 97 northern terminus • Yukon Highway 1.svg Hwy 1 southern terminus
    Watson Lake 976.4606.7Yukon Highway 4.svg Hwy 4 north (Robert Campbell Highway) Ross River, Faro
    Upper Liard 987.6613.7Crosses the Liard River
    997.6619.9Yukon Highway 37.svg Hwy 37 south (Stewart–Cassiar Highway) Dease Lake, BC, Stewart, BC
    British Columbia Stikine Region
    ( Unorganized )
    1,097.6682.0British Columbia – Yukon border
    Yukon Unorganized 1,161.9722.0British Columbia – Yukon border
    Teslin 1,201.9746.8Crosses Nisutlin Bay (Teslin Lake)
    Johnsons Crossing 1,253.2778.7Yukon Highway 6.svg Hwy 6 north (Canol Road) Ross River
    Jake's Corner 1,253.2778.7Yukon Highway 8.svg Hwy 8 west (Tagish Road) Tagish, Carcross, Atlin, BC
    1,350.2839.0Crosses the Yukon River
    Carcross Cutoff 1,361.4845.9Yukon Highway 2.svg Hwy 2 south (Klondike Highway) Carcross, Tagish, Skagway, AK South end of Hwy 2 concurrency
    Whitehorse 1,376.2855.1South Access Road
    1,382.0858.7Hamilton Boulevard, Two Mile Hill Road
    1,393.7866.0Yukon Highway 2.svg Hwy 2 north (Klondike Highway) Carmacks, Dawson City North end of Hwy 2 concurrency
    Haines Junction 1,533.9953.1Yukon Highway 3.svg Hwy 3 south (Haines Highway) Haines, AK
    Beaver Creek 1,849.91,149.5
    Canada–United States border 1,856.61,153.6 Alcan - Beaver Creek Border Crossing
    Yukon Highway 1.svg Hwy 1 northern terminus • Alaska 2 shield.svg AK-2 southern terminus
    Alaska Unorganized Tetlin Junction North plate.svg
    Alaska 5 shield.svg
    AK-5 north (Taylor Highway) Eagle, Dawson City, YK
    Tok West plate.svg
    Alaska 1 shield.svg
    AK-1 west (Tok Cut-Off Highway) Valdez, Anchorage
    Delta Junction South plate.svg
    Alaska 4 shield.svg
    AK-4 south (Richardson Highway) Glennallen
    North plate.svg
    Alaska 2 shield.svg
    AK-2 north (Richardson Highway) Fairbanks
    Alaska Highway northern terminus
    1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

    Bypassed road segments still in use

    Bypassed segment still in use, west of Fort Nelson, 2005 Old-Alaska-Highway-Fort-Nelson.jpg
    Bypassed segment still in use, west of Fort Nelson, 2005

    Fort Nelson

    • Mile 301 to 308, now local residential feeder roads Wildflower Drive, Highland Road, Valleyview Drive


    • Mile 898, now local residential road just west of Yukon River Bridge
    • Mile 920.3 to 922.5, now the southern and northern portions of Centennial Street; middle portion is Birch Street
    • Mile 922.5 to 922.7, now a portion of Azure Road
    • Mile 924, now a portion of Cousins Airfield Road
    • Mile 925.5 to 926.9, now Parent Road (east end overlooks Alaska Highway/Klondike Highway junction)
    • Mile 927.2 to 927.7, now Echo Valley Road
    • Mile 928 to 928.3, now Jackson Road
    • Mile 929 to 934, now Old Alaska Highway
    • Mile 968, now entrance road to Mendenhall River Subdivision

    Champagne-Aishihik traditional territory

    • Mile 969 to 981, Champagne loop (bypassed in fall 2002 by 8.6-mile (13.8 km) revision)
    • Mile 1016, Hume Street in Haines Junction including access to First Nation subdivision
    Alaska-Canada Military Highway (Segment)
    Bypassed segment of Alaska Highway, near Craig Lake, Alaska.jpg
    Bypassed segment still in use, southeast of Delta Junction
    LocationAbout 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Delta Junction
    Nearest city Delta Junction
    Coordinates 63°43′53″N144°42′02″W / 63.731465°N 144.700526°W / 63.731465; -144.700526
    Built1904 (1904)
    NRHP reference No. 13000543 [29]
    Added to NRHPJuly 31, 2013


    • Mile 1348, [30] one 2.5-mile (4.0 km) bypassed section of the original route, about 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Delta Junction, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as "one of the few sections of the road in Alaska virtually unchanged". The unpaved road is used by local residents to access Craig Lake, [31] [32] and is signed as Craig Lake Trail.

    Other former segments have deteriorated and are no longer usable. More recent construction projects have deliberately plowed up roadway to close it.

    See also

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    The Klondike Highway is a highway that runs from the Alaska Panhandle through the province of British Columbia and the territory of Yukon in Canada, linking the coastal town of Skagway, Alaska, to Dawson City, Yukon. Its route somewhat parallels the route used by prospectors in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Haines Highway</span> Highway in Alaska and Yukon Territory

    The Haines Highway or Haines Cut-Off is a highway that connects Haines, Alaska, in the United States, with Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada, passing through the province of British Columbia. It follows the route of the old Dalton Trail from the port of Haines inland for about 180 km (110 mi) to Klukshu, Yukon, and then continues to Haines Junction. The highway is about 244 km (152 mi) long, of which 72 km (45 mi) is in Alaska.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Haines Junction, Yukon</span> Village in Yukon, Canada

    Haines Junction is a village in Yukon, Canada. It is at Kilometre 1,632 of the Alaska Highway at its junction with the Haines Highway, hence the name of the community. According to the 2021 Census, the population was 688. However, the Yukon Bureau of Statistics lists the population count for 2022 as 1,018.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Burwash Landing</span> Place in Yukon, Canada

    Burwash Landing is a small community, at historical mile 1093 on the Alaska Highway, in Yukon, Canada along the southern shore of Kluane Lake.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Yukon Quest</span> Sled dog race from Alaska to Yukon

    The Yukon Quest, formally the Yukon Quest 1,000-mile International Sled Dog Race, is a sled dog race scheduled every February since 1984 between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon, switching directions each year. Because of the harsh winter conditions, difficult trail, and the limited support that competitors are allowed, it is considered the "most difficult sled dog race in the world", or even the "toughest race in the world"—"even tougher, more selective and less attention-seeking than the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race." The originator envisioned it as "a race so rugged that only purists would participate."

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Top of the World Highway</span> Highway between Yukon, Canada and Alaska, United States

    The Top of the World Highway is a 127 km-long (79 mi) highway, beginning at a junction with the Taylor Highway near the unincorporated community of Jack Wade, Alaska travelling east to its terminus at the ferry terminal in West Dawson, Yukon, on the western banks of the Yukon River. The highway has been in existence since at least 1955 and is only open during the summer months. The entire portion of the highway in Yukon is also known as Yukon Highway 9. The Alaska portion is signed as part of the Taylor Highway and the Alaska Department of Transportation refers to it as the Top of the World Highway.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Canol Road</span> Highway in Yukon and Northwest Territories, Canada

    The Canol Road was part of the Canol Project and was built to construct a pipeline from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, to Whitehorse, Yukon, during World War II. The pipeline no longer exists, but the 449 kilometres (279 mi) long Yukon portion of the road is maintained by the Yukon Government during summer months. The portion of the road that still exists in the NWT is called the Canol Heritage Trail. Both road and trail are incorporated into the Trans-Canada Trail.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Campbell Highway</span>

    Yukon Highway 4, also known as the Robert Campbell Highway or Campbell Highway, is a road between Watson Lake, Yukon on the Alaska Highway to Carmacks, Yukon on the Klondike Highway. It is 583 km (362 mi) long and mostly gravel-surfaced. It serves the communities of Faro and Ross River and intersects the Canol Road near Ross River. The highway is named for Robert Campbell, a nineteenth century Hudson's Bay Company fur trader and explorer.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Geography of Yukon</span>

    Yukon is in the northwestern corner of Canada and is bordered by Alaska and the Northwest Territories. The sparsely populated territory abounds with natural scenery, snowmelt lakes and perennial white-capped mountains, including many of Canada's highest mountains. The territory's climate is Arctic in territory north of Old Crow, subarctic in the region, between Whitehorse and Old Crow, and humid continental climate south of Whitehorse and in areas close to the British Columbia border. Most of the territory is boreal forest with tundra being the main vegetation zone only in the extreme north and at high elevations.

    The Canol Project was constructed during World War II to ensure a supply of oil for the defense of Alaska and the North American west coast. The project was completed in two years at great cost and was abandoned less than a year later.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Yukon</span>

    The history of the Yukon covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians through the Beringia land bridge approximately 20,000 years ago. In the 18th century, Russian explorers began to trade with the First Nations people along the Alaskan coast, and later established trade networks extending into Yukon. By the 19th century, traders from the Hudson's Bay Company were also active in the region. The region was administered as a part of the North-Western Territory until 1870, when the United Kingdom transferred the territory to Canada and it became the North-West Territories.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Alaska Route 2</span> Highway in Alaska

    Alaska Route 2 is a state highway in the central and east-central portions of the U.S. state of Alaska. It runs from Manley Hot Springs to the Canada–United States border, passing through Fairbanks and Delta Junction. Alaska Route 2 includes the entire length of the Alaska Highway in the state, the remainder of the highway being in the Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Canada.

    Walter Muma is a Canadian man who is on record for completing a 3-month 11,500-mile (18,660 km) journey across Canada and Alaska by moped. The journey took place during the summer of 1978, began in Toronto, passed through Yukon and Alaska, continued up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and finally back to Toronto.

    There have been various proposals to establish a rail line that links Canada and Alaska.


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