The Alaska Highway was completed 72 years ago.
A highway to Alaska was originally proposed in the 1920’s, but it took the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Japanese threat to the Aleutian Islands and the west coast of North America, to put it on the fast-track.
On February 6, 1942 the U.S. Army approved the Alaska Highway project. On February 11, it was approved by the U.S. Congress and President Roosevelt. Canada agreed to its construction as long as the total cost was bore by the United States and the highway and facilities in Canada reverted to Canadian control after the war. Construction of the highway officially began on March 8.
Nicknamed the “Oil Can Highway” by the workers, due to the number of 55 gallon drums discarded along the route, the 1700 mile road between Dawson Creek, British Columbia and Delta Junction, Alaska, was completed on October 28, 1942.
It is safe to say, that the ALCAN has been under construction ever since.
Photos courtesy of alaskahighwayarchives.ca