In a weird way, I guess the Japanese are somewhat responsible for the Alaska Highway. Or at least for it being built when it was. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 941 forced the US & Canadian governments to re-evaluate the security of North America, and prompted one of the most monumental construction projects ever undertaken still to this day. What had just been talked about before, suddenly became more urgent, and money & people were made available to 'get the job done.' The road was originally 1523 miles from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks (although its been shortened about 35 miles thru straightening & improvements over the years). There were 11,000 U.S. troops and 16,000 civilians involved, both Americans & Canadians. They used 7000 pieces of equipment, constructed 133 bridges and installed over 8000 culverts. And ALL this was accomplished in 8 months & 12 days. At first it was just a military road, but was opened to the public in 1948. These days, over 300,000 people per year make the journey we are on this summer!