The Road to Tanana, Alaska: Proving that Rural Connections Improve Lives

Many communities in rural Alaska are only accessible by air or by barge, making the transport of both people and goods expensive. Jeff Weltzin is the city manager of Tanana, Alaska, which is located 130 miles west of Fairbanks, near the Yukon River. Weltzin says Tanana’s 300 residents were being severely impacted by transportation costs—which was driving up the cost of living.

The solution was to build a road to the rural community and working with its local, state and federal partners the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities– found a way. Alaska DOT & PF Commissioner Marc Lukin says the Road to Tanana is “the first significant road built by the department in 20 years.” Today the Road to Tanana project brings significant benefits to the community by reducing freight and travel costs for residents and visitors and improving access to economic development. The $13.7 million project involved building a major bridge and constructing 20 miles of new road and upgrading 14 miles of existing road.

In this video we hear from several of people who made this project a reality. In this AASHTO Transportation TV video you’ll hear from the people who came together to make the Road to Tanana a reality.

Drone Footage provided by Alaska DOT & PF – Drone Pilot Brandy Milles.

Additional Photos and Videos provided by Alaska DOT & PF​.

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