Aerial photos of the road closure from Alaska DOT

Jack said “Holy Sh**!” when he looked at the Alaska Department of Transportation page today.  Not because of the photos of the road flooding but when he saw this:

2015: Dalton Highway 401-414 Reconstruction, will start this summer and is a two year project. Construction contract award is $27 million. The scope of the project is to reconstruct the Dalton Highway from Mile Post 401-414, improvements include raising the grade seven feet, replacing culverts and surfacing the road.

2016: Dalton Highway 379-401 Reconstruction, scheduled for construction in 2016, estimated cost is $40-50 million. The scope of the project is to reconstruct the Dalton Highway from Mile Post 379-401, improvements including raising the grade seven feet, replacing culverts and surfacing the road.

This will raise the road 7 feet above the tundra, so when someone goes off the road, it will be a lot bigger deal.  Here is the link for that Alaska DOT page:  http://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/dalton-updates/

Here are two aerial photos of the flooding, both from the Alaska DOT webpage.  Click on the photos for more info on the captions.

Video from right before current road closure

This is a video from trucker John Slater that shows how the Dalton looked last Saturday.  The road is now closed because of the overflowing Sag River making it impassable once again.  See prior posts for more info.

 

 

Dalton Highway, April 16th & 17th

These photos are the last of the ones Jack took from when the road was in bad condition.  It’s much improved now, to the point where Jack says there’s nothing to take photos of.  When the melt starts up there though, who knows what will happen.

Heavy Equipment (one that floats!)

Here are the rest of the photos from when Jack drove through the flooded area, the portion of the road that was recently closed because of the overflow of the Sag River onto the Dalton.  There is a HUGE tracked vehicle that Jack says can float!  I can’t see how that’s possible but supposedly, if it breaks through the ice, it won’t sink to the bottom of whatever it is on.  In his case it’s a matter of a few feet to the ground.  But it’s just hard to imagine either way.

Click on the first one and scroll to the right.

Dalton road conditions, April 15th

The road is in much better condition now, but it’s still a work in progress.  It’s open 24 hours now but only one lane with a pilot vehicle.  More info on the captions of the photos.  They were taken the 15th of April.  The very first photo is out of order – I put it in front to show what the road is supposed to look like at this time of year.  It was taken closer to Prudhoe, after Jack passed through the hazardous area.

Click on the first one and scroll to the right.

Photos from the road closure, April 11th

These photos are from when Jack was stuck at the road closure.  He was waiting there 3 days to get unloaded.  As you can see, it was a beautiful couple of days, albeit cold ones.  The rigs in the distance are tractor-like vehicles on tracks with tanks to take the fuel Jack and the other truckers are hauling back to Prudhoe.  The road is now open during the day.  Click on the first and scroll to the right.  More info on the captions.

 

High gas prices in Prudhoe

Jack is heading up as soon as he gets stocked up on supplies.  He heard they are escorting trucks through right now, even fuel trucks.  That could change at any time though, and he could be stuck there, who knows.  Last time he was there for 77 hours.

Here is a photo from a few days ago taken by a friend in Prudhoe.  (Thanks Joe)  Yikes!  Fairbanks is at about $3.24.

Fuel price in Prudhoe

More photos of the flooding

The last I heard from Jack he was still waiting to be offloaded.  There are a few freight trucks showing up to wait for a chance to get through, but no fuel trucks will be allowed. Those will still be offloaded about 23 miles from Prudhoe.

The below photos are the last of what Jack took before the road closure, on the 1st and 2nd of April.  It’s far from the worst of it.  For the deepest water Jack experienced, click on “On a slow truck to Prudhoe” on the right.

There’s a lot of good information in this article and a couple of photos:  http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/alaska-north-slope-truckers-in-limbo-as-dalton-highway-flood/article_311711ce-dff8-11e4-b9be-0bc49e932ff7.html

Huge snowdrifts near the flooding

This video is from about 10 days ago, it shows what the truckers had to pass through before they got to the flooding, heading into Prudhoe.  And here’s a good article about what’s going on up there.

http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/severed-from-supply-chain-north-slope-is-conserving-resources/32313174

 

 

 

On a slow truck to Prudhoe (deep water!)

Check out how deep the water is that’s coming from the Sag River and flooding the Dalton.  Each truck is basically a slow moving island unto itself and if one were to break down, well, just don’t think about that.  This was taken before the days-long closure of the road, a little over a week ago.  The governor has declared a state disaster.