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Old 05-29-2019, 11:50 PM   #1
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Alaska Highway Road Report

We just completed out 9th drive up to Alaska and thought folks might be interested in the road conditions we found.

From Dawson Creek north we found road conditions as good or better than we've seen them in many years. Until about 90 miles south of Whitehorse the surface was very good and just about no frost heaves or breakup. From that point north frost heaves and breakup was occasionally present but we were easily able to maintain posted speed limits (90-100kph). Damaged sections were marked well with sufficient notice to slow down before hitting the, North of Whitehorse was also good until a ways north of Destruction Bay. At that point up to Beaver Creek and the Alaskan border there were considerably more heaves and some breakup, but again, for the most part we were able to maintain posted speed limits. Bad sections were run 20kph or so slower than posted limits. Although we hit no construction zones there was evidence that repairs would be started shortly. After crossing into Alaska, things got quite a bit worse. From the border to Tok there was a lot of very rough patches and bad frost heaves. A lot of evidence of impending repairs, but nothing so far. We were able to maintain 10-20mph below posted limits (55-65) in most all areas but there were very few flags, cones or signs warning od bad sections. Constant close attention is required. After Tok we took the Tok Cutoff to Glennallen. The condition of this road varied from very bad to terrible. Up to about half way the frost heaves and breakup was bad but could be driven with close attention and slow speeds. About halfway through a major reconstruction of a very bad section was under way, and the road surface there was actually better than a lot of the paved sections, but the area required a pilot car and about a 10-15 minute wait. After that section, things got very bad. Heaves, breakup and repeated road separations made travel above 25-35mph impossible. After joining the Richardson Highway conditions improved to Glennallen. We took the run to Valdez and that run was quite good, we were able to run posted speed limits all the way down to Valdez with few heaves and very little breakup. Damaged section marking was spotty at best and no construction.

Overall, we found the roads as good or better than we've ever seen. Canadian sections were good to excellent, well marked and a relatively easy drive. In Alaska things got worse, with poor markings, little or no repair in progress and requiring restricted speeds to navigate safely. The Tok cutoff was as bad as I've ever seen it in 17 transits.

Good luck if you travel north this summer. We were well pleased overall.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:44 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report. The TOK cutoff had been previously mentioned as very bad. surprised about the AK roads not being well marked.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
We just completed out 9th drive up to Alaska and thought folks might be interested in the road conditions we found.

From Dawson Creek north we found road conditions as good or better than we've seen them in many years. Until about 90 miles south of Whitehorse the surface was very good and just about no frost heaves or breakup. From that point, north frost heaves and the breakup was occasionally present but we were easily able to maintain posted speed limits (90-100kph). Damaged sections were marked well with sufficient notice to slow down before hitting the North of Whitehorse was also good until ways north of Destruction Bay. At that point up to Beaver Creek and the Alaskan border, there were considerably more heaves and some breakup, but again, for the most part, we were able to maintain posted speed limits. Bad sections were run 20kph or so slower than posted limits. Although we hit no construction zones there was evidence that repairs would be started shortly. After crossing into Alaska, things got quite a bit worse. From the border to Tok there was a lot of very rough patches and bad frost heaves. A lot of evidence of impending repairs, but nothing so far. We were able to maintain 10-20mph below-posted limits (55-65) in almost all areas but there were very few flags, cones or signs warning od bad sections. Constant close attention is required. After Tok, we took the Tok Cutoff to Glennallen. The condition of this road varied from very bad to terrible. Up to about half, the frost heaves and breakup were bad but could be driven with close attention and slow speeds. About halfway through a major reconstruction of a very bad section was underway, and the road surface there was actually better than a lot of the paved sections, but the area required a pilot car and about a 10-15 minute wait. After that section, things got very bad. Heaves, breakup and repeated road separations made travel above 25-35mph impossible. After joining the Richardson Highway conditions improved to Glennallen. We took the run to Valdez and that run was quite good, we were able to run posted speed limits all the way down to Valdez with few heaves and very little breakup. Damaged section marking was spotty at best and no construction.

Overall, we found the roads as good or better than we've ever seen. Canadian sections were good to excellent, well marked and a relatively easy drive. In Alaska, things got worse, with poor markings, little or no repair in progress and requiring restricted speeds to navigate safely. The Tok cutoff was as bad as I've ever seen it in 17 transits.

Good luck if you travel north this summer. We were well pleased overall.
----------------------------------------------------------

WOW, most read detail I've seen in a long time Thanks. Good information as we shell mark out the points on our map. Should be fun. Thanks so much.

Can I ask after Tok, how BAD did the road become? as to your speeds, much or not at all? Thanks again with some good details.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:51 PM   #4
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First half of the cutoff we were running 10-20 below the posted 55 limit. It got progressively worse as we got further along and by midpoint to the Richardson, downright terrible.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:59 AM   #5
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Is the road so bad that it is worth the time and distance to go the long way?
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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Is the road so bad that it is worth the time and distance to go the long way?
Well, perhaps. Of course I've got no clue how the roads to Delta Junction and back to Glennallen are. Could be an "out of the frying pan and into the fire..."


We just slowed down a lot and it eventually ended. Probably could add an hour or two to a "normal" transit depending on how much you slow up. We were just disappointed that the road was as bad as it was compared with how good the run up to there had been.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:53 PM   #7
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No matter what that small stretch of road's condition is it is definitely worth it to make the drive up there. Don't cancel any plans because of this inconvenience. That's only a small portion of your overall drive. What's the harm of having to drive 20mph for a short distance? Enjoy the scenery!!


OP: Been fishing yet?
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:45 PM   #8
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No matter what that small stretch of road's condition is it is definitely worth it to make the drive up there. Don't cancel any plans because of this inconvenience. That's only a small portion of your overall drive. What's the harm of having to drive 20mph for a short distance? Enjoy the scenery!!


OP: Been fishing yet?
Not yet but the boat trailer is all assembled and the inflatable almost done. Have to mount dock lines, anchor lines, pot puller, motor, fuel and batteries. We shrimp first and pinks should be in around July 4th. Some time after the pinks show up we'll start on the halibut. An empty 17 cu ft freezer awaits.
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