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Taylor Highway Opens


State Department of Transportation crews have cleared the 160-mile Taylor Highway from the intersection with the Alaska Highway to the city of Eagle.

The highway usually is open by now, but this winter’s extreme snowfall and drifting, along with flooding from ice jams, have delayed the opening by several weeks. A D-O-T news release issued this (Wed) morning says crews started removing snow and ice along the highway in mid-March.

D-O-T urges travelers to drive with extreme caution and to watch for water and ice on the roadway in some areas. The news release says motorists should pack winter survival gear and chains and anticipate winter weather conditions, especially in higher elevations, like drifting snow and maintenance personnel and equipment near the road.

Later this month, D-O-T crews will open the Boundary Spur, also known as the Top of the World Highway. The road leads to a U.S.-Canada border crossing, but that will remain closed until the U.S. and Canadian customs office opens, which usually occurs in mid-May. The opening of the border-crossing depends on the breakup of Yukon River ice at Dawson, which must happen before the George Black Ferry can operate.

Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the border between the U.S. and Canada is currently open to essential travel only. D-O-T recommends motorists contact Canadian customs before traveling to the border via the Taylor Highway.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.