Last year several ptarmigan flew into Jack’s windshield while he was driving down the road. Yikes! Goes to show, there are myriad road hazards in the far north. Click to enlarge.
Here’s a short video from last year where Jack bumps a guard rail as he’s going through a snow drift, passes by a large drift, and then continues on his merry way.
From Alaska Dispatch News:
DEADHORSE — Unprecedented flooding continues to interfere with daily operations on the North Slope oil patch after surging waters wiped away swaths of the Dalton Highway and isolated a section of Deadhorse, the jumping-off point for the sprawling industrial region.
“This is just epic,” said Mike Coffey, commander of the unified incident command, a response team consisting of the state, the North Slope Borough and oil companies. “People who have been here for decades say they’ve never seen anything like it.”
The state has estimated the costs of the damage and repairs since March at $5.1 million. The federal government may pay for much of that, since the icing and flooding on the highway has been declared a disaster, said Coffey, the director of state transportation maintenance and operations.
You can see more photos and get a lot of more info from the article: http://www.adn.com/article/20150521/epic-flooding-dalton-highway-hinders-north-slope-oil-operations
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.
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.
Here is a quick video from when Jack went through the cleared lane that the State of Alaska loader made after the avalanche on Atigun Pass. Don’t forget you can change the settings in the lower right hand corner if the video looks grainy.