New washouts keep Richardson Highway closed

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 5:29 PM AKDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 12:03 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Update Wednesday, July 13. 11:30 a.m.

The Richardson Highway remains closed from milepost 281 to milepost 234 as of 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 13.

Continued flash flooding has caused multiple washouts to the highway in several places.

The Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has established damages to the following areas: Boulder Creek, Lower Suzy Q Creek, Upper Suzy Q Creek, Falls Creek, Gunnysack Creek, and Darling Creek.

Bear Creek, Ruby Creek and One Mile Creek are experiencing very high waters and mudslides are also a concern with an 80 percent chance of rain forecasted for the area.

Additionally, fiber optics have also been damaged due to the washouts.

DOT continues to assess the damages, identify needed resources, and bring in additional support. The highway is expected to remain closed for another 24 hours. Visit 511 Alaska for more information and updates.

An alternative route to take if traveling to Chitina and Valdez is to use the Tok Cutoff and Alaska Highways.

Update: Tuesday, July 12. 9:13 a.m.

Flash flooding has washed out parts of the Richardson Highway at the Ruby Creek Bridge and the One Mile Creek Bridge. The highway is once again closed, from milepost 218 to milepost 234.

This is a new closure in addition to the Bear Creek closure from yesterday, Monday, July 11.

Weather conditions are poor. Crews will be working on these locations as soon as they are able to.

Alternative travel to Chitina and Valdez is to use the Tok Cutoff and Alaska Highways.

Visit 511 Alaska for more information and updates.

Original Story: Monday, July 11. 5:53 p.m.

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Richardson Highway experienced a washout near Delta Junction at milepost 233, also known as Bear Creek.

Flooding caused the road to wash out at the Bear Creek Bridge. This led to an immediate closure of the impacted section of the highway. “The bridge did not wash out, [rather] the road that connects to the bridge washed out,” said Danielle Tessen, Northern Region Spokesperson for the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF).

According to DOT&PF, there is currently one lane open with a pilot car in place to lead drivers through the damaged portion of the highway.

An alternative route includes driving through Tok on the Alaska Highway, and reconnecting to the Richardson Highway via the Tok Cutoff Highway.

Crews are working on repairs, which could take 12 to 14 hours to complete. Visit 511 Alaska for updates.

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