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Western Alaska access

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Stephane Dumas:
I spotted it at http://www.dowlhkm.com/projects/westernalaskaaccess/default.htm there some proposal to having access to Nome with a map showing various alignments studied as well as future possible natural gas, oil fields in that area

Bickendan:
Cursory glance makes me like Route 3 best.

Future I-A5?

oscar:

--- Quote from: Stephane Dumas on January 09, 2010, 03:16:53 PM ---I spotted it at http://www.dowlhkm.com/projects/westernalaskaaccess/default.htm there some proposal to having access to Nome with a map showing various alignments studied as well as future possible natural gas, oil fields in that area

--- End quote ---

Something like that has been talked about since pre-statehood days, so I'm skeptical it'll do any better this time around.  Hundreds of miles of new road, much of it over permafrost, and having to dodge environmentally-sensitive areas (part of why the southernmost route option does so much zigzagging -- route 2b would be much shorter, and avoids the wildlife refuges lining the south shore of the Yukon River), would be a challenge.  Plus, my impression is that the people in the Nome area would have mixed feelings about easier access to and from the rest of Alaska.  Certainly if a road is ever built, it would almost certainly be only two lanes, and mostly or entirely gravel like the Nome area road network it would tie into. 

When Alaska and Hawaii became states, they were given the chance to propose Interstate corridors.  While some Alaska proposals came within reach of the cut line, the proposed Interstate to Nome was more or less laughed off the table, despite Nome's proximity to the then-Soviet Union (military needs were an important factor in the scoring).  The Interstate to Nome got only 22 points on a 100-point scale, with the cut line at 90.  See http://www.alaskaroads.com/1960-Alaska+Hawaii-Interstates-report.pdf (about 10Mb download).

Brandon:
It probably would be a good idea to build it, but I would think a road somewhat along the lines of the Dalton Hwy would be best rather than a fully paved road.

agentsteel53:
that will certainly make various Alaska counties (census boroughs, whatever) easier to clinch!  I don't have to rent a snowmobile or a moose...

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