0 Likes

Road Cut in Chitina, Alaska
Alaska

At the Chitina end of the Edgerton Highway, the highway takes a turn east, and becomes a gravel road which was actually the old rail road bed for the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. A few hundred yards from downtown, the road narrows and goes through this deep cut before emerging on the Copper River side of the ridge.

In the 1970's, Mr. Al Taylor, who at the time lived at Lower Tonsina and operated a lumber mill there, told me that this road cut used to be a railroad tunnel. The railroad operated between 1910 and 1938. It was used primarily to ship copper ore from the Kennicott Mines to the seaport of Cordova. Mr. Tailor reported that after the railroad was abandoned, a crew was contracted to "daylight" the tunnel for surface road.

Mr. Taylor also related the story that either during this "daylighting" process or during the original construction of the tunnel, the contractor dug below the specified grade and surreptitiously installed a pipe to conduct water from Town Lake (the lake adjacent to downtown Chitina) to the level of the Copper River. The drop in elevation offered so much water pressure that the contractor was able to install a Pelton wheel to drive a generator and supply the town of Chitina with electricity for many years until the facility burned down.

All of this was related by Mr. Taylor and needs verification if it is to be taken as history. I was interviewing him for a documentary I was producing at the time called "Boom Times, An Alaskan Portrait" which compared the construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline to the construction of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway.

The road cut does however exist and is of historic and geologic interest. Interestingly, the panorama is in full color. In mid May, the entire area is a muted grey. Strong winds off the Chitina and Copper River valleys pick up fine glacial silt and deposit it over everything, muting the color.

Tom Sadowski, July 23, 2010

Copyright: Tom sadowski
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 10400x5200
Uploaded: 23/07/2010
Updated: 25/09/2014
Views:

...


Tags: road; geology; rock; tunnel; rail road; road bed; kennicott; narrow
comments powered by Disqus

Tom Sadowski
Hotel and Main Street, Chitina, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Fish Wheel #84, on the Banks of the Copper River, Near Chitina, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Fish Wheel #66 on the Banks of the Copper River, Near Chitina, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Tonsina River Lodge and Roadhouse off the Richardson Highway in Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Trans Alaska Pipeline near Copper Center, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Copper Center area along the Old Richardson Highway, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
The Copper River From a Richardson Highway Viewpoint in Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Downtown Glennallen, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
A Rainy Spring Day at Horsetail Falls on the Richardson Highway in Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Tolsona Rest Stop on the Glenn Highway in Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Downtown Valdez, at the corner of Meals and Egan Streets
Tom Sadowski
Fishing Boats at Harbor in Valdez, Alaska 2
yunzen liu
the Historical Culture Long Corridor in WuhanJiangtan
Richard Chesher
Hienghene La Poule Couveuse
Matt Nolan
Ice in long-term cold storage at NICL
Richard Chesher
Yenghebane Anchorage New Caledonia
Lev Trusov
Glen
Matt Nolan
A big dinosaur in Drumheller Alberta (15 Feb 09 1340)
Willy Kaemena
Boat Quay
Richard Chesher
Coral Reef Baie de Pain New Caledonia
Gregory Panayotou
In Bed With Mathilde
Richard Chesher
Dumbea River North New Caledonia
Richard Chesher
Coral Reef Baie de Pain 2 New Caledonia
Lev Trusov
Moscow State University.Winter.
Tom Sadowski
Pumpkin Display Near Presque Isle, Maine, USA
Tom Sadowski
Aerial Tramway Station at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Littleriverupperdam
Tom Sadowski
Trans Alaska Pipeline near Copper Center, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Downtown Glennallen, Alaska
Tom Sadowski
Richmond Bridge 2
Tom Sadowski
Victoria Dock, Franklin Wharf
Tom Sadowski
Matanuska River Valley in Alaska 1
Tom Sadowski
Alaska First Impression: Anchorage Airport Exterior
Tom Sadowski
The Maine Lobsterman Sculpture in Portland, Maine 3
Tom Sadowski
Arve River Picnic Ground 2
Tom Sadowski
Dock at Sebago Lake Maine
More About Alaska

Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait. Approximately half of Alaska's 710,231 residents (as per the 2010 United States Census) live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska is the least densely populated state of the U.S.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska