Copper River Highway

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Alaska 10 shield.svgForest Route 32.svg

Copper River Highway
Map of the Copper River Highway
Route information
Maintained by AkDOT&PF and the NFS
Length: 49.5 mi[1] (79.7 km)
Major junctions
South end: 2nd Street in Cordova
North end: The Million Dollar Bridge over the Miles Glacier
Highway system

The Copper River Highway extends 49.5 miles (79.7 km) from Cordova along the old railbed of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Construction began in 1945, and was originally intended to link Cordova with the state highway system at Chitina. The Million Dollar Bridge, which had carried trains until the CR&NW shut down, was converted for highway use. It is one of two discontinuous segments of Alaska Route 10.

The road extended only slightly beyond the bridge when the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964 halted construction and severely damaged the Million Dollar Bridge, collapsing the north span. Temporary repairs were made, and the bridge continued to be used. Permanent repairs were not completed until 2005.

The first 12 miles (19 km) of the highway is paved; the rest is gravel. A primitive four-wheel-drive road continues for 10 miles (16 km) beyond the end of the highway to the Allen River.

Route description[edit]

The Copper River Highway begins at the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal in Cordova. From there, the highway proceeds through central Cordova, intersecting several small roads and passing residential and commercial buildings.[2] The road exits Cordova, and passes the large Eyak Lake, proceeding to the Merle K. (Mudhole) Smith Airport.[2] The highway proceeds through Chugach National Forest, and passes over the Copper River, and several small sloughs.[2] The roadway continues north, passing through several miles of Chugach National Forest, before reaching the Million Dollar Bridge, the highway's northern terminus.[2]

Major junctions[edit]

The entire route is in Valdez-Cordova Borough.

Location Mile[3] km Destinations Notes
Cordova 0.000 0.000 Alaska Marine Highway Terminal - Cordova Western terminus
0.449 0.723 Railroad Avenue
0.849 1.366 Council Avenue
1.095 1.762 2nd Street
1.376 2.214 Point Whitshed Road
1.793 2.886 Le Fevre Street
4.831 7.775 5 Mile Cutoff
  5.307 8.541 Eyak River
  13.696 22.042 Sheridan Glacier Road
  22.284 35.863 Alaganik Slough Bridge
  49.458 79.595 Million Dollar Bridge Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]