July 16th, 2022: DOT Adds 18 Miles To Creek Closures On Richardson, Starting At Mile 200 - Phelan Creek

UPDATE: 18 MORE MILES CLOSED July 16th, 2022 As of today, DOT has added 18 miles of closures to the Richardson, on the Copper Valley side. I...


UPDATE: 18 MORE MILES CLOSED

July 16th, 2022

As of today, DOT has added 18 miles of closures to the Richardson, on the Copper Valley side. It is now closed to traffic from Mile 200 to Mile 234, instead of starting at Mile 218 as before. 

For reference, here are landmarks in the area before the new closed area: 

Mile 190.4 is the Gulkana Fish Hatchery. Mile 191 is the southbound "Welcome to Copper River Valley" sign. Mile 192-195 is Summit Lake. Mile 197 is Isabel Pass and Mile 200 is the Fielding Lake campground entrance.

Here are landmarks within the new closure area after Mile 200: 

Mile 201 is the Phelan Creek bridge. Mile 202.4 is the McCallum Creek bridge. Mile 206 is the scenic viewpoint of Rainbow Mountain. Mile 215 is Miller Creek bridge. Mile 215.9 is the Denali Fault & Pipeline Viewing area. Mile 216.7 is the Lower Miller Creek Bridge. Mile 217.2 is Castner Creek. Mile 218 is Trims Camp, and Mile 218.8 is the bridge over Trims Creek. 

SMALL CREEKS, BIG HEADACHES 

Bear Creek Washout.  Mile 233 Richardson Highway. (Photo, Alyeska Pipeline) 

Worth Reading In The Anchorage Daily News

Dramatic Story Of Copper Valley Resident Bob Barnes Driving Off Bear Creek Bridge And How He Managed To Escape Climbing Up Hand Over Hand.

UPDATE, JULY 14TH 

DOT ADDS EVEN MORE CREEKS TO LIST 

Alaska DOT&PF Richardson Washout Response

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) crews and contractors are currently working on responding to damage caused from flash flooding on the Richardson Highway between MP 218 to MP 234 on Monday, July 12. 

We are continuing to assess all identified locations on state-maintained infrastructure where repair work is necessary. 

Currently we have identified damage at 

Boulder Creek, Lower Suzy Q Creek, Upper Suzy Q, Falls Creek, Gunnysack Creek, Darling Creek, Ruby Creek and One Mile Creek Whistler Creek, Trims Creek, Castner Creek, Lower Miller, Coyote Creek, and on the Richardson MP 220.5, 226, 230.5, 229.1, 232.1, 228, 228.9, and 209.8. 

The road at Bear Creek has completely washed out on both sides of the bridge. A map of the location sites shares these locations on the Richardson washout website.

DOT&PF has response teams on the North and South ends of the closure assessing damaged areas and working on repairs. Contractors are working with DOT&PF maintenance and operation crews to make repairs. We anticipate this closure will continue through the weekend, depending on weather conditions.

The Richardson Highway between MP 218 and MP 234 traffic counts are 250 weekday travelers and 400 weekend travelers. During the closure for Valdez travel, detour around the closure by using the Tok Cutoff and the Alaska Highway.

For additional information, please visit: 

DOT&PF Richardson washout Repair Website, dot.alaska.gov/nreg/richardson-washout 
Road conditions and traffic cameras, 511.alaska.gov


UPDATE, JULY 13TH 

Flash flooding on the Richardson caused multiple washouts at Mile 218 to Mile 234. The closure is anticipated to continue through the weekend.  As of July 13th, 2022, there is known damage at Boulder Creek, Lower Suzy Q, Upper Suzy Q, Falls Creek, Gunny Sack Creek, Darling Creek, Ruby Creek, and One-Mile Creek.

The road at Bear Creek has completely washed out, says DOT. 

You Can't Drive To Delta Jct. On The Rich 

 

DOT Says Floods Washed Out Bridges


Photos of Flooding on Richardson (DOT) 
UPDATE: JULY 12TH, 2022 FROM DOT

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. ⚠️ Richardson Highway ⚠️ REMAINS CLOSED from MP 218 to MP 234 due to road washouts from flash flooding. We anticipate this closure to continue for another 24 hours, but we will know more soon. 
Damage:
◾ Crews are currently establishing a list of the multiple damage areas in need of repairs, but for now we know is there is damage at Boulder Creek, Lower Suzy Q Creek, Upper Suzy Q, Falls Creek, Gunnysack Creek, and Darling Creek.

 Bear Creek, Ruby Creek and One Mile Creek are experiencing very high waters with a forecast of 80% showers over the next few days. There are a few areas where mudslides are also a concern.

◾ Fiber optics have been damaged in the area due to the washouts.

 

 

The 15 Miles From Trims Creek To Bear Creek In Washout Zone 

Department of Transportation crews announced on July 11th, 2022 that there is a road closure between Miles 218 and 233 between Paxson and Delta Junction due to "washed out bridges." DOT did not say which bridges were washed out but that area is full of small creeks which cross the road, and dozens of small bridges. 

The creeks carry with them the historic names of the Valdez-to-Fairbanks Trail, which was later turned into the Richardson Highway. In this 15 mile length of closed road, there are 13 creeks. 

Trims Creek. (Google) 
13 Bridges Over Troubled Waters

List Of Bridges In Closed Area 

Mile 218 is the bridge over Trims Creek. At Mile 220, there's another bridge at Michael Creek. Mile 220.7 is Flood Creek. Mile 223 Is Whistler Creek. Mile 223.8 is Boulder Creek. Mile 224.5 is Lower Suzy Q. Mile 224.8 is Upper Suzy Q. Mile 226.4 is Falls Creek. Mile 226.5 is Terry Creek. Then, at Mile 226.9 the road crosses Gunny Sack Creek. 

Black Rapids Roadhouse is in the closed section, at Mile 227.4. At Mile 228.3 there's the One Mile Creek bridge, and at Mile 231, you cross Darling Creek. The final creek in this closed section is Bear Creek, with its bridge at Mile 233. 

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