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Troopers close Richardson Hwy over false bomb alert on Eielson

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Kathleen Comeau/Facebook screenshot
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An Eielson servicemember advises motorists traveling on the Richardson Highway Monday morning about the closure and detours around the area.

Alaska State Troopers closed the Richardson Highway Monday morning for about two hours near Eielson Air Force Base in response to a bomb-sniffing dog’s response to a vehicle that was trying to enter the base. After checking the vehicle, the base's security forces concluded the concerns were unfounded.

Troopers closed the Richardson at around 8:15 a.m. Monday, during the morning rush hour.

“Eielson Air Force Base officials requested the Alaska State Troopers close the Richardson Highway near milepost 341. That’s around the main gate,” Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel said Monday afternoon. He says the agency closed the highway as part of a routine response to an incident that occurred on base.

“We ended up shutting down the Richardson Highway for just over two hours,” he said, “while base officials were conducting whatever business they needed to conduct.”

A Trooper dispatch posted later Monday afternoon says the request by Eielson officials was based on a bomb-sniffing dog’s alerting to a vehicle that was trying to enter the base. Security personnel halted the vehicle and after two hours, explosives-ordnance experts determined the vehicle was not carrying a bomb.

An Eielson spokesperson declined to talk about the incident. The spokesperson said Monday that Troopers close the highway as a routine precaution in situations like this.