The northern end of the Dalton Highway is closed again. A month after overflow from the Sag River shut it down, spring melt water has made the only access road to the North Slope oil fields impassable again.
On Sunday night the Alaska Department of Transportation announced a 4 day closure of the Dalton Highway from mile 375 to 410, south of Prudhoe Bay. DOT spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says it was anticipated that overflow ice that that built up this spring would cause major problems during break up.
Bailey says the DOT is prepared for serious road damage due to erosion.
Bailey says the worst area remain between milepost 395 and 405, but the closure has been expanded to take in a few other areas where there’s water over the highway, and to allow a contractor to stage repair equipment and materials. She says the section of main impact are is completely covered by flood water.
Bailey says the state has been in communication with North Slope oil companies and the truckers who supply them, and they prepared for the extended closure. After the flooding subsidies and emergency repairs are made, the section of road is scheduled for major reconstruction this summer that will raise it 7 feet above the current grade.