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Richardson Hwy reopened after crews repair damaged culvert

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DOT&PF/Facebook screenshot
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The Alaska Department of Transportation announced the reopening of the Richardson Highway at milepost 167 in a Saturday morning post to its Facebook page.

Heavy snowpack runoff damages culvert at milepost 167

Updated: A state Department of Transportation spokesperson said Saturday morning that the highway had been reopened to one-lane traffic at around 10 p.m. Friday after crews installed a new culvert. The roadway will be repaved soon, the spokesperson said.

DOT closed a stretch of the Richardson Highway around the damaged drainage culvert near Paxson on Friday morning and detoured traffic between Delta Junction and Gulkana while the state Department of Transportation conducted repairs.

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Alaska DOT&PF
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A stretch of the Richardson Highway between Delta Junction and Gulkana was closed Friday morning because of a damaged drainage culvert near Paxson. Traffic was being detoured onto the Alaska Highway and Tok Cutoff.

The DOT spokesperson said Friday that crews and contractors were working to replace the culvert, and they hope to get it done in time to reopen the highway at 7 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, DOT detoured southbound traffic onto the Alaska Highway in Delta and northbound traffic onto the Tok Cutoff near Gulkana.

That’s a much longer route, and DOT advised travelers to expect additional travel time and delays on that route.

A DOT news release said high levels of meltoff from heavy snowpack in the area damaged the culvert that drains Gillespie Creek, near the Denali Highway turnoff.

The news release says the culvert was built in 1951.

Note: Travelers can visit 511.alaska.gov for more information on the status of the closure/detour and other information about highways statewide.