DOT&PF takes steps to enhance safety along Steese, Richardson & Alaska Highways


Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) – The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is taking immediate steps to enhance highway safety along the Alaska, Steese, and Richardson Highways in preparation for the planned Tetlin to Ft. Knox ore haul, scheduled to start in Jan. 2024.

Safety improvements include short and long-term actions that will:

  • Improve visibility for drivers and pedestrians
  • Increase enforcement of commercial vehicle regulations
  • Educate new drivers about driving near commercial trucks
  • Connect emergency responders with funding for training and equipment
  • Enhance vehicle and roadside technology
  • Build long-term infrastructure upgrades

“We are launching a multidisciplinary approach that maximizes safety for all highway users,” said Alaska DOT&PF Commissioner, Ryan Anderson. “It’s important to take steps now, before the ore haul starts, to enhance safety.”

The ore haul remains of high interest to Interior Alaskans, many of whom have expressed concerns about safety. The urgency of Alaska DOT&PF’s safety measures comes at a time when Kinross has indicated that the ore haul will start in early 2024.

Alaska DOT&PF is required to provide for a wide variety of legally permissible transportation along the National Highway network.

It is the responsibility of Alaska’s DOT&PF Commercial Vehicle Compliance officers to ensure that the proposed ore haul vehicles are compliant with Alaska’s weight and length requirements.

In 2022, DOT&PF commissioned an independent analysis of the Alaska/ Richardson/ Steese Highways.

This analysis evaluates near and long-term plans for the corridor, incorporating public input and providing recommendations for short-term and long-term transportation solutions for issues that are identified.

With the independent analysis, a Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) was established to ensure representation from affected communities and user groups along the route, including emergency medical services, local governments, and advocacy groups.

The TAC is currently working on a corridor action plan, and their work is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2023.

Check here for more information about the TAC and the Alaska, Richardson, and Steese Highway Corridor Action Plan.