Alaska News

Alaska road crew uses artillery to trigger snow slides along Parks Highway

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Department of Transportation used an artillery piece Sunday to lower avalanche danger along the Parks Highway north of Cantwell.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports DOT workers fired the weapon at Panorama Mountain between Cantwell and the entrance to Denali National Park.

The artillery fire created snow slides aimed at making travel safer from Mile 216 to Mile 220.

Avalanches there in 2004 buried the Parks Highway under as much as 20 feet of snow.

Highway maintenance foreman Rick Lee says the howitzer started four productive slides that will decrease the avalanche risk for the rest of the winter.

Only a few inches of snow from the slides reached the highway, and Lee says it didn't impede traffic.