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DOT closes popular water spout along Seward Highway, citing dangerous rock fall and highway upgrade plan

 A popular water pipe along the Seward Highway is a source of water for some, and a source of safety complaints to the Department of Transportation. (KTUU)
A popular water pipe along the Seward Highway is a source of water for some, and a source of safety complaints to the Department of Transportation. (KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Mar. 27, 2019 at 1:47 PM AKDT
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The Alaska Department of Transportation is closing a popular site on the side of the Seward Highway where many Alaskans stop to fill up their water jugs.

The drainage site at Mile 109 on the Seward Highway is in a high-risk area for rock fall, and DOT says rocks fell in the area just Tuesday of this week—one of several documented since the Nov. 30 earthquake.

The pipe in the side of the rock is one of several holes the department drilled in the 1980s to reduce water pressure and to stabilize the rock face, but it is not a sanctioned public water source. The department says it’s the fifth-highest rock fall highway risk and hazard area in the state. The Department says the popularity of the site has led to increased illegal parking, risky pedestrian crossings and is the source of numerous safety complaints.

The Department is currently modifying the rocks and road shoulder in the area to reduce risks in the area by removing access and keeping vehicles from parking on the side of the highway closest to the drainage site.

The Department is considering long-term engineering solutions to keep people out of harm's way in the area.

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