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Author Topic: AK-2 extension to Nome  (Read 53969 times)

agentsteel53

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AK-2 extension to Nome
« on: January 07, 2013, 10:05:42 AM »

how serious is this proposal?  it was being discussed in the "longest distance without a fuel stop" thread as though it were quite certainly happening.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 01:47:27 AM by Bickendan »
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 10:23:26 AM »

how serious is this proposal?  it was being discussed in the "longest distance without a fuel stop" thread as though it were quite certainly happening.

There's definite interest in the idea within the state legislature, but last I checked, not to the point of making firm plans.  My impression is that it would help move the process if someone found oil, gold, or other resources along the way, to justify the multi-billion expenditure under a "roads to resources" mantra.  I don't think the residents of the Nome area are all that anxious for a road connection to the rest of Alaska, so proponents need some other excuse to build the road. 
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 01:46:19 PM »

and now I know.  looks like it's 550 miles as the crow winds its way through the various villages.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 11:04:18 PM »

how serious is this proposal?  it was being discussed in the "longest distance without a fuel stop" thread as though it were quite certainly happening.
I don't think the residents of the Nome area are all that anxious for a road connection to the rest of Alaska, so proponents need some other excuse to build the road. 

And having been stranded by all the ice in the Bering Strait last winter didn't change their minds?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 10:43:03 PM by Steve »
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 11:57:47 PM »

And having been stranded by all the ice in the Bering Strait last winter didn't change their minds?
What are you talking about?
http://www.alaska.com/nome/
"There is no ferry service, either to Russia or to any other city in Alaska."
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 08:44:15 PM »

And having been stranded by all the ice in the Bering Strait last winter didn't change their minds?
What are you talking about?
http://www.alaska.com/nome/
"There is no ferry service, either to Russia or to any other city in Alaska."


Weren't they about to run out of fuel (heating oil?) due to the freezing over of the Strait? I remember seeing news reports about needing an icebreaker to clear a path for a ship to get thru to deliver it.

There may be no ferry service, but they still have to get supplied, and not everything can be flown in.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 07:31:09 PM »

And having been stranded by all the ice in the Bering Strait last winter didn't change their minds?
What are you talking about?
http://www.alaska.com/nome/
"There is no ferry service, either to Russia or to any other city in Alaska."


Weren't they about to run out of fuel (heating oil?) due to the freezing over of the Strait? I remember seeing news reports about needing an icebreaker to clear a path for a ship to get thru to deliver it.

There may be no ferry service, but they still have to get supplied, and not everything can be flown in.
Diesel fuel and other bulky supplies are brought in by cargo ship. An icebreaker was needed to allow a Russian ship to bring in the fuel oil last year, just before the local power utility went dry.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 08:26:26 PM »

Bering Strait freezing over is a normal thing in the winter (I should know, I tracked sea ice for 4 years at my previous duty station).  Last winter, the issue is that it froze up before the tanker could get to Nome.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 10:33:18 PM »

Diesel fuel and other bulky supplies are brought in by cargo ship. An icebreaker was needed to allow a Russian ship to bring in the fuel oil last year, just before the local power utility went dry.

That's where a road might help.  During winter, it would be frozen similar to the Dalton Highway and be able to support heavier loads.  IIRC, Deadhorse gets its refined oil products via truck during the winter.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 01:52:25 PM »

A little OT, but it looks like Nome will soon be served by a spur from a Tokyo-to-London "information superhighway" fibre optic cable:

http://alaska-native-news.com/general-news/7558-arctic-fibre-and-quintillion-join-forces-to-bring-high-speed-internet-access-to-northern-alaska-and-bering-sea.html

Quote
Arctic Fibre plans to construct a 9,424 mile subsea fibre optic cable extending from Tokyo, Japan to London, England via the Bering Strait, Beaufort Sea and Canadian Arctic with a planned in-service date of November 2014 .... Quintillion will construct spurs between Arctic Fibre's backbone and the communities of Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Wainwright, Nome and Kotzebue ...
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 11:51:15 PM »

The Corps of Engineers is conducting a Deep Draft Port Study for the Nome/Port Clarence region:

Quote
Recommended in this report is an initial feasibility level study of the Nome/Port Clarence region to support vessel traffic and economic development in the Arctic. All 14 candidate sites noted in the study could benefit from enhanced marine infrastructure. Though Nome/Port Clarence will be the focus of this study going forward, additional sites could be evaluated independently or as funding becomes available.
The comment period for this draft ends Feb. 28, 2013.

With intermodal connections being a key factor, I wonder if such a port would create a stronger argument for completion of an AK-2 extension (and/or rail extension)? ... yes, I am also thinking in the back of my mind of the OT concept of a long-term connection to a Bering Strait tunnel.

edit

This article also discusses the study:

Quote
.... Nome scored highly because of infrastructure already in plac e, including an airport with jet service and runways that allow a cross-wind approach, Lukshin said. Teller benefited from its road connection to Nome ....

Teller is only 50 to 55 air miles away from Wales, the presumptive Alaska entry point for a Bering Strait tunnel.

second edit

http://www.dowlhkm.com/projects/Western_Alaska_Access/waaps/index.html

This map (page 7/67 of pdf) provides both a proposed staging for such a project and a good visual of the relationship of Wales to the Teller-to-Nome highway and the proposed project:

« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 10:11:05 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 11:40:33 AM »

Also, regarding rails, from what I've been seeing in other forvms, there are plans for a major new rail link (double track) between the oil fields in NE Alberta and Delta Junction, AK, where unit trains of crude oil can be unloaded and the oil transferred into the Alaska Pipeline for transport the rest of the way to the deep-draft tanker port at Valdez, AK for export to Asia.  There are no Pacific Ocean ports in Canada that can handle those ships.

(Note, I am unsure of the progress of those plans, nor even if they have been officially proposed to any government agency in either country.)

Also, a new rail line is under construction between the current end of the Alaska Railroad ('ARR') at North Pole, AK and Delta Junction (see http://www.northernrailextension.com/ for more on this interesting project.).  It's another piece in the whole transport development puzzle in that part of North America - including potentially to that deep draft port that is under study in Nome, AK and beyond.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 12:00:56 PM by mgk920 »
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 10:34:08 PM »

http://www.dowlhkm.com/projects/Western_Alaska_Access/waaps/index.html
This map (page 7/67 of pdf) provides both a proposed staging for such a project and a good visual of the relationship of Wales to the Teller-to-Nome highway and the proposed project:

This July 20, 2012 article reports that preliminary work has started on the Manley Hot Springs-to-Tanana road, Stage 1 on the above map:

Quote
Work has begun on what could one day become the first leg of a road to Nome.
At the beginning of July, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities employees began clearing brush and conducting surveys for a proposed road from Manley Hot Springs to Tanana Village. The road is part of Gov. Sean Parnell’s “Roads to Resources” program, and will run along land owned in part by the state and in part by the Tozitna Native Corporation.
The state has allocated $10 million to fund this initial stage, $6.4 million from Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and $3.6 million from the general fund. This will pay for an initial trail to be cleared that will allow workers to survey, take core samples and conduct archaeological work in the event the road should impede upon a historical or cultural site.
The DOT coordinates with both the Department of Natural Resources and the Alaska Native corporations in this effort.
The end goal is to complete an environmental document that would be submitted for public review and input ....

Here is the current method for getting your vehicle from Manley Hot Springs to Tanana:

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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 11:55:00 PM »

Here is the current method for getting your vehicle from Manley Hot Springs to Tanana:

Looks like it sunk :-/
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 12:01:14 PM »

I would not trust that at all...
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 05:27:27 PM »

I think I would trust the raft more than the planks leading to it.  Just my luck, one would break or I'd slip off the edge.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2013, 01:57:56 PM »

how serious is this proposal?  it was being discussed in the "longest distance without a fuel stop" thread as though it were quite certainly happening.

Damn, I would need a few gascans and a full tank of gas (filled to the top) if I was ever going to drive on that extension, unless they decided to add a few gas stations along the route. I certainly do not want a route like the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2013, 06:31:51 PM »

I would rather take a reasonably reliable operation like White's Ferry (crosses Potomac River between Montgomery County, Maryland and Loudoun County, Va.).

Video:
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2013, 06:33:44 PM »

Bering Strait freezing over is a normal thing in the winter (I should know, I tracked sea ice for 4 years at my previous duty station).  Last winter, the issue is that it froze up before the tanker could get to Nome.

Have you ever been on board a vessel making its way through sea ice?

I have (Silja Line ferry from Stockholm, Sweden to Helsingfors, Finland).

It sucketh.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 07:00:34 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2013, 01:56:34 AM »

They have Gas at Manley Hot Springs according to "The Milepost" at a roadhouse in town. And according to other sources they have Gas at Tanana, although presently not very much since the only thing that people in remote Western Alaska use to get around is "Snow machines" in winter time (otherwise called Snowmobiles in the Lower 48) and probably 4-wheelers and boats during the late Spring and summer time. Cars are at a minimum since there is no road in or out but some service vehicles are around for trash, fire, police, and to deliver heating oil in the winter, and to keep the roads in town (although dirt) maintained. To leave Tanana they have passenger air service in and out. The state makes sure the remote villages have an airport and the mail is delivered by air. All this will change when they get the new road built, although if you need gas as things stand now you will have to use the ferry to get across the Yukon River to go to where people fill up in Tanana. Every village along this route has Gas since you can't use a snowmobile or a 4-wheeler or an outboard motor without it.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2013, 07:11:10 AM »

They have Gas at Manley Hot Springs according to "The Milepost" at a roadhouse in town.

Yes.  Currently limited hours, though -- when I went there last summer, I had to scramble to refuel before the store with the gas pumps, which is run by the roadhouse but in a separate facility several blocks away, closed at 5pm on a weekday (pay-at-the-pump wasn't an option).  One hopes that would improve as through traffic increases.

I suspect that ATVs are currently the dominant mode of transport in Tanana (as it is in other isolated villages in western Alaska), both to economize on expensive fuel and also for travel off the limited local road network.  The gas facilities there will probably also need a substantial upgrade as the highway is extended there.
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2013, 05:12:06 PM »

Quote
Also, a new rail line is under construction between the current end of the Alaska Railroad ('ARR') at North Pole, AK and Delta Junction (see http://www.northernrailextension.com/ for more on this interesting project.).  It's another piece in the whole transport development puzzle in that part of North America - including potentially to that deep draft port that is under study in Nome, AK and beyond.

I do not know how much more pressure is on the Alaska Railroad to accelerate the schedule to lay track to Delta Junction.  Obama approved some more missiles for Fort Greeley. Rather than have them trucked in, they can be transported by rail if the construction is completed by the time the missiles are delivered. 
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2013, 11:32:37 PM »

I frankly have to agree about the wooden raft. I would hate it if my car turned upside down on that small river or even sank. Not only that, but there would also be a good chance of death out in a remote area like northern Alaska. At least an extension of AK-2 would end that nonsense.

On a related note, this topic inspired me to re-think my US 97 fictional highway proposal by making this proposed extension of AK-2 into a proposed extension of a proposed extension for US 97 in Alaska. I wrote the entire idea down here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:White_Star_Line_Fan/sandbox/highway_proposals#U.S._Route_97_in_Alaska
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Re: AK-2 extension to Nome
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2013, 12:59:40 AM »

On a related note, this topic inspired me to re-think my US 97 fictional highway proposal by making this proposed extension of AK-2 into a proposed extension of a proposed extension for US 97 in Alaska. I wrote the entire idea down here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:White_Star_Line_Fan/sandbox/highway_proposals#U.S._Route_97_in_Alaska

'Taint there.

How does your proposal compare to the actual 1964 proposal, and at least one map apparently "jumping the gun" on that proposal, for US 97 in Alaska?

One of those maps included in US 97 the Nome-Council Highway running east of Nome.  I'm really skeptical whether that was ever officially US 97.  For one thing, much of the road is not only unpaved, but also rough, narrow, and not much wider than one-lane.  If there were any minimum road quality standard for US highways, that road would've almost certainly flunked it, even if it were not as rough in the 1950s as when I traveled it in 2001.

See also http://www.us-highways.com/ak-us.htm#US%2097a (includes some of my research).

I'd add that the current proposals to build a road from existing AK 2 to Nome would leave out part of the Nome-Council Highway, at Council's request to have any new highway steer far clear of the town.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 01:07:14 AM by oscar »
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