The Alaska Highway: The Last Great Roadtrip

THE HIGHWAY OPENS

Color guard at the completion of the Alaska Highway. Photo courtesy of University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Alaska Highway was officially opened in a ceremony at Soldier’s Summit on November 20, 1942. Representatives of the US military and the Canadian Government attended. The Alaska Highway was a rugged, unfinished and difficult road. Paul Seddicum, US Consul in Edmonton, said of the highway in 1947, “I may be prejudiced but I feel strongly that there is no attraction connected with the Highway great enough to make the discomfort and possible danger worth the effort.”

The fact that no road construction project of this magnitude had ever been undertaken in a sub-Arctic setting did not go unnoticed. Charles Camsell, a writer aptly stated, “Herein the United States and Canada have been carrying out a great experiment. Let us all hope it will meet with a success which will recommend it to the policy-makers of the world.”

Next: The Highway Today