Fairbanks is saved by the dam…again!

Recently Fairbanks and the surrounding areas have been getting a lot of rain.  So when Jack and I visited the Chena Dam the other day the floodgates had been lowered in order to prevent high water from flowing downstream toward Fairbanks.  This results in the river backing up into the reservoir area behind the dam but saves Fairbanks as it has many times since it was built almost 40 years ago.

Dermot Cole of Alaska Dispatch News wrote in 2014 when the floodgates were lowered then that Fairbanks’ “most effective flood insurance policy … takes the form of an unusual dam with four 30-ton gates that operate like giant garage doors, stemming the flow of high water when the river rises. The floodgates are one element in an extensive federal flood control project that cost a quarter-billion dollars by the time of its completion in 1979.”

Click on the first photo and scroll to the right to read the captions.

For more info:  a slideshow on the Army Corp website and this pamphlet for a little more in depth information.

 

 

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A raven’s eye tour of Fairbanks

Flying into Fairbanks one day in 2008 the airplane took an unusual route.  Instead of coming in from the southwest it came in from the southeast, flying over Harding Lake and Salcha and circling over Farmers Loop across north of town into the airport.  Maybe this direction of landing is normal, I don’t know, I have never experienced it before, but this day happened to be beautifully clear and I captured some great photos of the Tanana River and various Fairbanks landmarks.

Click on the first one and then scroll to the right for an overhead, raven’s eye, tour of Fairbanks.

On the Hook!

No, not us!!  This truck here:

A strange way to drive down the highway, with an 18-wheeler facing you.

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This is the last bit of great scenery we saw in Alaska, before crossing into Canada.

The Tanana River.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

More to come!

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Still Hauling Pipe

Here are some photos of the job Jack is presently working on, hauling huge pipe sections from the port of Valdez to Salcha where there is a railroad bridge being built across the Tanana River.

Empty trailers, waiting for the pipe.

This is a photo from an earlier post:  the trucks loaded with 2 lengths of pipe each, and more pipe in the background that still needed to be loaded and hauled to Salcha.  Each section is 6 feet in diameter and 43 feet long.  That stack has been transported by now but more has arrived from other barges.

Eight inch wood dunnage cradling the pipe.  It gives space for the forks to pick it up and set it down, and the pipe chalks (upper wood pieces) stop it from rolling until they get it tied down.  Each piece of pipe is 25,000 pounds.

The trucks have to stop at quite a few roadwork sites along the Richardson Highway.  This is in the canyon just north of Valdez.

A couple of days ago Jack was held up at some roadwork for almost 2 hours.  Since the Richardson is one of only a couple of major highways in Alaska, there  must have been a line of ticked-off tourists 10 miles long!

Anyone interested in more information about this bridge project can go to this link:  State of Alaska webpage.