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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Alaska-Canada Military Highway
Reference Number 13000543
State Alaska
County Southeast Fairbanks
Town Delta Junction
Street Address A 2.5 mile gravel road west of the present Alaska Highway, approximately 37 miles southeast of Delta Junction
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 7/31/2013
Areas of Significance Transportation
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000543.pdf
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Construction of the Alaska-Canada Military Highway is among the epic accomplishments of engineering by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Discussed through the 1930s, World War II-specifically the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941-got the road built. Starting in March 1942, some 18,500 American and Canadian military and civilian workers carved a 1,603 mile military access pioneer road between British Columbia and Alaska in only eight months and twenty-three days. The highway provided the first overland connection for people in southcentral and interior Alaska with the continental United States. The route linked a series of newly constructed airfields between Edmonton, Alberta, and Fairbanks, Alaska. The road helped orient pilots, many young and little tested, who flew planes along the route between 1942 and 1945 as part ofthe World War II lend-lease program to aid the Soviet Union in its fight against the Germans. It was a rugged, pioneer road. After construction, it was closed to the public without a permit, until1948. Almost all of the highway today has been rerouted. Original sections with physical integrity from the 1940s are rare. All but about 200 miles of the Alaska Highway is in Canada. The 2.5 mile section near Delta Junction nominated is one of the few sections of the road in Alaska virtually unchanged. It is an unpaved road, with ditches alongside in some places and forest alongside in others. The nomination is for the roadway and includes the remains of one log culvert. The current route of the Alaska Highway bypasses the 2.5 mile section, although the stretch of original road is used to provide access to a lake for recreation and fishing and access for area property owners. The road segment is of national significance for its association with World War II as well as for its construction in less than nine months. The period of significance starts in 1942, the year the road was built, and ends in 1943 after the road was minimally upgraded to the width and standard the segment exhibits today.

 

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