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Transportation in Alaska

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capitol Image source: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT & PF) administers and manages the entire transportation system of the state of Alabama. The department implements several programs to ensure fast, safe and convenient travel for the people. The transportation system in Alaska comprises of road transport, rail transport, air transport, marine transport and other transportation modes such as dog-sled and snow machine.

Road Transportation in Alaska

The road transportation in Alaska poses certain hurdles due to its limited connectivity and minimum accessibility. The road system of Alaska links very small areas of the state. The major consideration is about the minimum accessibility to the state capital, Juneau, where there is no road connectivity. The state transportation department has come up with many improvement programs to ensure easier and convenient road travel. The several improvement plans include, Alaska I-ways program, statewide maintenance and operations initiatives, highway safety plans, Adopt-A-Highway program and many other initiatives implemented to improve road travel experience. The Transportation Data Collection Program and the Spatial Data System, record and maintain vital data, including highway safety (crash) data, traffic data, transportation navigation information, travel information and road weather information.
Glenn Highway

Image source: http://www.dot.alaska.gov

Alaska I-ways Program (Intelligent Transportation System)

The Intelligent Transportation System or I-ways program was launched by DOT & PF in 2000. The programs integrate advanced technologies and systems to ensure efficient travel. Under the I-ways program, several projects are initiated, including Alaska Land Mobile Radio, 511 Traveler information, Automated vehicle Identification (AVI) E- Screening, Infra-red Inspection System, Portable Message Boards, Traffic Signal Electronic Modernization.

Contact Details:
Lisa Idell Sassi, System Coordinator
Phone: 907-465-8952
Email: dot.iways@alaska.gov.

For any queries or information on I-ways program Click here.

Adopt-A-Highway Program

Adopt-A-Highway Program is a successful government-public partnership program which was launched in 1991. The program is specifically constituted to enhance roadsides cleanliness and to make roads and highways more appealing. Various schools, social groups, business entities and religious groups actively adopt and participate in the program. For any queries or information about Adopt-A-Highway Program, please contact the regional coordinators listed below.

Contact Details:

Central Zone:
P.O. Box 196900
Anchorage, AK 99519-6900
Phone: 907-338-1466
Tamara Cooke, Coordinator: 907-262-2199
Email: Tamara.Cooke@alaska.gov

Northern Zone:
2301 Peger Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
Leisha Rice, Coordinator: 907-451-5287

South-East Zone:
PO Box 112506
Juneau, AK 99811-2506
Randall Mueca, Coordinator: 907-465-1779
Email: randall.mueca@alaska.gov

The major highways of the state of Alaska are-

Alaska Highway: The major highway commonly known as the Alaskan-Canadian-Highway connects the adjacent states with Alaska through Canada. The route extends from Canadian border to Delta junction.

Dalton Highway: The route extends from Elliott highway to Deadhorse, near the Arctic Ocean.

Elliott Highway: Elliott highway is a well maintained highway between Fox to Manley Hot Springs.

Glenn Highway: The route extends from Anchorage to Glennallen
on the Richardson Highway.

Haines Highway: The route connects between Haines to Canadian border.

Klondike Highway: The route extends from Skagway to Canadian border of Yukon’s Dawson City.

Parks Highway: The route connects between Glenn highway and Fairbanks.

Richardson Highway: The route extends from Valdez to Fairbanks. It is divided into Alaska Route 4 (Valdez to Delta Junction) and Alaska Route 2 (Delta Junction to Fairbanks).

Seward Highway: The route extends from Seward to Anchorage. It is divided into Alaska Route 9 (Seward to Sterling highway) and Alaska Route 1 (Sterling highway to Anchorage).

Steese Highway: The route extends from Fairbank to circle.

Sterling Highway: The route extends from Seward Highway to Anchorage.

Taylor Highway: The route extends from Tetlin Junction on Alaska Highway to Anchorage.

Tok Cut-Off: The route extends from Gakona Junction on Richardson Highway to Tok on Alaka Highway.

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is the second longest highway tunnel and the longest integrated highway and rail road tunnel that passes under Maynard Mountain, part of Chugach Mountain Range.

Million Dollar bridge

The Miles Glacier Bridge, commonly known as the Million Dollar Bridge is a multiple span Pennsylvania truss bridge that runs across the Copper River. The bridge features a railroad line mostly used to transport copper from Kennicott to the port of Cordova.

Air Transportation in Alaska

Air Transportation in Alaska is an essential and the most efficient transportation method in Alaska that connects the region of the state that is not accessible by any road network or the ferry system, popularly termed as the Bush region of Alaska. The state is working diligently to upgrade the air transport network of the state to keep up with the growing tourism. It is the major mode that offers all round effective intercity and interstate connectivity.

The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in Alaska. The federal Government subsidy program called Essential Air Service System was launched by U.S Government to offer commercial connectivity with small or bush regions of the state by certificated airlines. As several remote regions have limited connectivity by roads, waterways and railways, many communities have established small air taxi services. One of the most notable planes is the Bush seaplane which serves the Bush regions. Lakewood is the world’s busiest seaplane base located next to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

The major airports serving the state are Fairbanks International Airport, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Juneau International Airport, and Ketchikan International Airport.

The Alaska International Airport System

The Alaska International Airport System is the major air network that serves over 30 international and domestic airlines [1] that provide efficient commercial passenger and cargo services throughout Alaska, United States, Europe and Asia. Fairbanks International Airport and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport operate under the
Alaska International Airport System.

Contact Details:
John Binder, Deputy Commissioner
Email: john.binder@alaska.gov
Website: http://dot.alaska.gov/aias/index.shtml

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a major and the busiest airport of Alaska. It is also among the top five busiest international cargo hubs in the world and the second largest in United States. It operates over 45 air carriers, including 15 domestic and 27 international carriers and connects to 23 passenger destinations and 49 cargo destinations throughout the world [2]. The two major cargo airlines that operate from Anchorage are FedEx Express and UPS Airlines. Additionally, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the principal employer of the state. Some of the major airlines that operate to and from Anchorage are Air Canada Rouge, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Grant Aviation and Pen Air. The top ten busiest domestic destinations out of Anchorage are Seattle (WA), Fairbanks (AK), Minneapolis/ST Paul (MN), Portland (OR), Chicago (ORD), Kenai (AK), Denver (CO), Juneau (AK), Kodiak (AK), Bethel (AK).

Contact Details:
5000 W International Airport Rd. ,
Anchorage, AK 99502
Phone: 907-266-2525
Fax: 907-266-2458
Email: anthony.luiken@alaska.gov
Website: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/index.shtml

Fairbanks International Airport

Fairbanks International Airport is the key airport owned by the state and primarily serves many cargo airlines. It also serves as a re-fueling stop of some aircraft flying on trans-polar route. The major passenger airlines that operate to and from Fairbanks International Airport include Ravn Alaska, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines. Additionally, the main cargo airlines include Air Cargo, Air Central Express, Air North, Alaska Central Express, Everts Air Cargo and Fex Ex express. The top busiest domestic destinations out of Fairbanks are Anchorage (AK), Seattle (WA), Minneapolis (MN), Denver (CO), Galena (AK), Deadhorse (AK), Portland (OR), and Chicago-O’Hare (IL).

Contact Details:
6450 Airport Way
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
Phone: (907) 474-2500
Fax: (907) 474-2513.
Website: http://dot.alaska.gov/faiiap/index.shtml

Juneau International Airport

Juneau International Airport is a city owned airport which offers services to regional airlines, bush carriers and also serves as a seaplane base. The major passenger carriers that operate to and from Juneau International Airport are Air Excursions, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Seaplane, Delta Airlines, Ward Air, and Wings of Alaska. The top destinations outside Juneau include, Seattle (WA), Anchorage (AK), Sitka (AK), Ketchikan (AK), Hoonah (AK), Haines (AK), Petersburg (AK), Gustavus (AK), Skagway (AK), Yakutat (AK).

Contact Details:
1873 Shell Simmons Dr., Ste. 200
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: 907-789-7821
Website: http://www.juneau.org/airport

Ketchikan International Airport

Ketchikan International Airport is a state owned airport which is located on a sparsely populated island. A ferry ride is required to get to the airport from the city of Ketchikan. The top passenger carriers operating from Ketchikan International Airport are Alaska Airlines, Delta Connection, Pacific Airways, Promech Air and Taguan Air. The cargo airlines operating to and from the airport include Ameriflight and Alaska Central Express Cargo. The domestic route it serves are Seattle (WA), Juneau (AK), Anchorage (AK), Sitka (AK), Wrangell (AK), Petersburg (AK) and Craig (AK).

Contact Details:
1000 Airport Terminal Building, Suite 10
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Phone: 907-225-6800
Fax: 907-225-2939
Website: http://www.borough.ketchikan.ak.us/130/Airport

The Alaska Airlines is the only major airline of Alaska that serves interstate connectivity and also offers access to several small and bush regions of the state. The airlines connects Anchorage and Fairbanks to regional airports (Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Dillingham, Kodiak) and to major airports (Southeast and Alaska Peninsula regions.

Rail Transportation in Alaska

The Alaska Railroad Corporation oversees all passenger and freight railroads that connect ports and people to major regions of the state. The Alaska railway serves as a passenger carrier as well as cargo carrier and extends from Seward to North Pole via Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks. The passenger trains operate daily during summer seasons but weekly only in the winter seasons. Primarily the railway in Alaska is used for freight transfer and in moving natural resources, such as coal and gravel to various ports of Alaska. The railroad also serves as a great tourist attraction as the rail ride is the best way to explore Alaska. Many tour packages are offered by the railway department to make sightseeing enjoyable and convenient.

Summer Trains in Alaska

Denali Star

The Denali Star operate two trains in the south and the north. The south train operates from Fairbanks to Anchorage and the north train runs from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and both halts at Talkeetna and Denali.

Coastal Classic

The Coastal Classic serves daily to and fro Anchorage and Seward with a stop at Gird wood.

Glacier Discovery

The Glacier Discovery starts from Anchorage to Whittier with stops at Portgage, Spencer whistle and Grandview. The same train runs to and fro Portgage and Whittier but does not return to Anchorage.

Hurricane Turn

The Hurricane Turn operates to and fro Talkeetna and Hurricane Gulch from Thursday to Sunday.

Winter Trains in Alaska

Hurricane Turn

The Hurricane Turn operates to and fro TAlkeetna and Hurricane Gulch only in the first Thursday of the month in the winter.

Aurora Winter

The Aurora Winter operates two trains that serves the north and the south. The north train runs from Anchorage to Fairbanks each Saturday and the south train runs from Fairbanks to Anchorage each Sunday in the winter.

Contact Details of the Alaska Railroad Corporation:
327 W. Ship Creek Avenue
PO Box 107500
Anchorage AK 99510-7500
Corporation: (800) 321-6518
Main: 907-265-2300
Passenger Services: (800) 544-0552
Customer Service: 907-265-2494

Learn more: Time Table of Summer and Winter Trains

For any information on Alaska Railroad Corporation Click here.

Water Transportation in Alaska

The Water Transportation in Alaska is the key mode of transportation used as passenger carrier and also as freight carrier. The waterways provide connectivity to those remote paces not accessible by roads. The Alaska Marine Highway System is a full fledged organized ferry system operated by the government of the United States of Alaska. The system connects over 33 communities with the metropolitan centers in and outside Alaska. Tourists come on-board the Alaska Marine Highway to explore the scenic beauty, wildlife and port towns of the state. The system has around eleven fleets that serve domestic and also international destinations. The domestic regions it serves include southeast and Alaska Peninsula regions and outside Alaska it operates in Bellingham, Washington, Prince Rupert, British Columbia (Canada) and Skagway. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority works concurrently with the Alaska Marine System and manages the ferry system of the southeast region of Alaska.

The top five ports in Alaska are Port of Anchorage, Port of Juneau, Port of Skagway, Port of Seward and Port of Ketchigan. Additionally the major routes of the Akaska Marine Highway System comprise of Southeast Alaska Route, The Gulf of Alaska Route, South-central Alaska Route and South-west Alaska Route.

Southeast Alaska Route

The Inside Passage Route passes in the southeastern Alaska and is the most frequently traveled route of several vessels. It is formed by the interlinking of many passages and runs from southeast Alaska to northwest Washington State via British Columbia in Canada. The route serves as a convenient route accessible to many isolated remote communities.

Gulf of Alaska Route

The route extends from Bellingham to Whittier in Alaska. It is the
main route that connects the Inside Passage in southeast Alaska to southwestern routes.

South-central Alaska Route

The route connects Prince William Sound, Kodiak Island, Gulf of Alaska, Kenai Peninsula and the lower Cook Inlet. The route offers great sights of wildlife and scenic landscapes.

South-west Alaska Route

The Southwest Alaska Route is marked by the famous Aleutian Chain which
links the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula. The route touches many isolated regions of the southwestern Alaska.

Contact Details of the Alaska Marine Highway System:

Reservation Office:
P.O. Box 1125
6858 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99811-2505
Phone: (800) 642-0066 toll free (800) 764-3779 TDD / TDY (907) 465-3941
Fax: (907) 465-8824

Operations and Administrations:
Alaska Marine Highway System
7559 N. Tongass Highway
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901-9101
Phone: (907) 228-7255

For any information on reservations, fares, routes, time tables, sailing calendar and other general information on Alaska Marine Highway System Click here.

Also read about the two notable Ports of Alaska:

Alaska Port of Anchorage

The Port of Anchorage is the principal lifeline of the state of Alaska that connects the state to the Unites States. The port is the main business hub that operates all year round and provides approximately 90% of cargoes and fuels to almost all the regions of the state including the remote places. The port has four bulk carrier berths and two petroleum berths.

Contact Details:
2000 Anchorage Port Road
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 343-6200
Port Security Command & Control Center
Emergencies: (907) 343-603
Website: http://portofalaska.com

Alaska Port of Juneau

The Port of Juneau serves as an important cruise ship destination and the waterway is one of the main transportation modes (other than Airways) to reach Juneau. It offers enjoyable recreational services and also serves as an important business and transportation hub.

Contact Details:
55 South Seward Street
Juneau, AK 99801
United States
Phone: 907-586-0292
Fax: 907-586-0295

Interesting Facts on Transportation of Alaska

  • The other mode of transportation in Alabama is dog sled-a sled pulled by one or more dogs to move on top of ice or snow. Dog sledding has now become an Alaskan tradition and is celebrated every year on March as dog sledding race from Anchorage to Nome. The racers are called Iditarod racers. This is also a favorite recreational activity for many and can enjoy it in Anchorage, Juneau, Denali and Gird wood.

  • Snow machine is also accepted as another mode of transportation in Alaska. It makes travel over snow and ice much easier and accessible. Snow machine riding has now become a chosen activity for the locals as well as the tourists. Denali National Park is a big riding venue in Alaska.

  1. Alaska International Airport System
  2. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport 
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