Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44DELTA JUNCTION GUIDE 7 Delta Junction is the northern terminus of the Alaska Highway the only road link between Alaska and Canada and the Lower 48. Many travelers are confused by claims that Fairbanks is Mile 1523 of the Alaska Highway. Fairbanks is actually the northern end of the historic Richard- son Highway which stretches from Valdez north through Delta and on to Fairbanks. The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II as a military route to carry supplies to military installations in In- terior Alaska and to the airfields en route. Airfields at Northway Tanacross Fort Greely and Ladd Air Base now Fort Wain- wright were actively engaged in the trans- fer of aircraft between the United States and Russian allies. The pioneer road through swampy tun- dra and rocky mountains was begun in March of 1942 by the men of seven Army regiments working with 47 contractors and the Public Roads Administration. Crews worked south from Delta Junction and north from Dawson Creek. What we now know as the Alaska Highway was completed when the two crews met on the southern shore of Kluane Lake in Novem- ber eight months later. At the peak of construction in addition to the military men 77 contractors work- ing on the Alaska Highway employed over 15000 men and utilized more than 11000 pieces of equipment. Total construction cost for the 1422 miles was 115 million. Through the efforts of both the United States and Canadian governments the Alaska Highway which was known as the Alcan for only a short time after construc- tion has been continually improved wid- ened and straightenedand shortened somewhat. Today the Alaska Highway is a modern road and paved almost all the way from Dawson Creek to Delta Junction. A few short stretches of gravel remain but even these surfaces are beautifully main- tained by Yukon and Alaska road crews. 15000 men 8 months CROOKS AND TURNS According to reports the Alaska Highway was intentionally built with many crooks and turns so that convoys of supply trucks and equipment could not be entirely wiped out by enemy bombers strafing in a straight line. Stories of the building also relate that in some places the swamp was so bad that crawler tractors would sink so deep they could not be retrieved and the road was eventually built right over the top of some. alaska highw ay BOTTOM COPYRIGHT BIRCH LEAF PHOTOGRAPHY TOP P193-090 Alaska State Library Alaska Highway Photo Collection