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Alaska

Trans-Alaska Pipeline

The impact of the 800 miles of 48-inch pipe on Alaska’s economic and social conditions has been enormous and is on many visitors’ "must see" list. Construction of the $8 billion pipeline took place between 1974 and 1977.

Slightly less than half of the pipeline is buried. The remaining pipe is on 78,000 aboveground supports, located 60 feet apart following a zigzag pattern to relieve stress from the traveling hot oil. Over 800 rivers and streams had to be crossed as well as three mountain passes.

Winding from the Arctic region of Prudhoe Bay to the ice-free port of Valdez, the pipeline is visible near Fairbanks, Glennallen, Delta Junction, Valdez and along the Dalton Highway. The Dalton, which is known in Alaska as the North Slope Haul Road, is a 414-mile road built during construction of the pipeline to provide access to remote construction camps.

The highway begins at milepost 73.1 on the Elliott Highway and ends at Deadhorse. Permits are no longer required to drive the gravel highway. Services are very limited and are only available at milepost 56 and milepost 175 at Coldfoot. Travelers should be prepared to drive slowly as the gravel road is very rough. There are four designated campgrounds along the Dalton Highway, and several informal campsites.

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Source: Alaska TIA; magazineUSA.com & magazinUSA.com
Last modified: 20070909
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