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  6.  | Alaska and Yukon Collaborate to Improve the Alaska Highway

Alaska and Yukon Collaborate to Improve the Alaska Highway

Apr 30, 2024 | Government, News, Transportation

Scenic Route, Alaska Hwy, during a sunny and cloudy day. West of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

edb3_16 | Envato

In a display of cross-border cooperation and shared commitment to regional connectivity, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is collaborating with the Yukon territory to improve the northern portion of the Alaska Highway..

An International Lifeline

Bolstered by $31 million in funding from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) recently approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this partnership underscores the joint efforts of Alaska and the Yukon territory to enhance the lifeline for communities on both sides of the border.

“This is a significant milestone for Alaska as we advance our partnership with the Yukon,” says Governor Mike Dunleavy. “This success in the STIP application underscores the importance of maintaining a safe and efficient passage for all visitors to the North, and we look forward to an exciting construction season ahead.”

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Recognizing the shared significance of this iconic roadway, Alaska and Yukon signed an agreement on February 9. It outlines collaborative efforts to address key priorities along the Alaska Highway, including roadway maintenance, infrastructure upgrades, and emergency preparedness. Through shared resources and expertise, both jurisdictions will work to enhance traveler experience, promote economic development, and strengthen regional cooperation.

“The Alaska Highway is more than just a roadway; it’s a lifeline for communities across the region,” says Nils Clarke, minister of highway and public works for the Yukon territory. “We applaud Alaska DOT&PF for their dedication to improving this critical transportation link and look forward to continued collaboration in enhancing connectivity and economic prosperity.”

The focus of the collaboration is on the 128-mile northern section of the Alaska Highway through the Yukon, known as the Shakwak Highway, from Destruction Bay on Kluane Lake to the Alaska/Canada Border. Thawing permafrost has complicated maintenance on that section of highway, so restoration efforts will involve resurfacing, repairing the road bed, and replacing culverts. Plans also include improved drainage to ensure the highway can be used safely at its designed speed.

The entire Alaska Highway runs more than 1,300 miles between Dawson Creek, British Columbia and Delta Junction.

The Yukon announcement of the agreement is available here.

Alaska Business May 2024 cover
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