Alaska Highway

Learn about the Alaska Highway, a key route connecting northwestern Canada and Alaska. It’s a main transportation route for local First Nations, residents, tourists and industry.

Closures due to wildfires

For information on Alaska Highway closures due to wildfires, please go to: DriveBC and BC Wildlife Service.

Lane closures and updates

This is a remote northern highway, and motorists should adapt their driving appropriately according to road conditions. Please watch out for wildlife. In the event of an emergency, such as a forest fire or extreme weather, the highway may be closed. Motorists will be advised by signage and flagging personnel.

Call 1‑250‑774‑6956 to stay up to date on lane reductions and closures before you travel.

On this page

About the highway

The Alaska Highway stretches 2,450 kilometres (km) across northern British Columbia (B.C.) and southern Yukon into Alaska. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the custodian for the 835 km of the highway that the Government of Canada is responsible for.

The Alaska Highway
A mountain panorama taken from the Alaska Highway, heading south, near kilometre 684 (in the area of Peterson Creek, British Columbia).

Description of the highway

The Alaska Highway is the principal land transportation link to northern B.C., Yukon and Alaska from the rest of Canada and the lower 48 states of the United States (U.S.). Almost 80% (1,900 km) of the highway is in Canada:

  • the Government of B.C. is responsible for the first section (km 0 to km 133)
  • the Government of Canada is responsible for the section between km 133, north of Fort St. John in B.C., and km 968, at the B.C. and Yukon border
  • the Government of Yukon is responsible for the remaining portion on Canadian soil

Operation of the highway

In addition to a maintenance and conversion program for the road surface, our program of work covers:

  • 25 bridges
  • 32 large culverts
  • 2,130 small culverts
  • 10 maintenance yards
  • 10 salt sheds
  • numerous pits and quarries

As custodian of our portion of the highway, we are committed to:

  • seeking opportunities to improve highway connections and the level of service for northerners
  • ensuring the safe and continued operation of the Alaska Highway to support current and future projected traffic levels
  • ensuring decommissioned road surfaces are properly and safely deconstructed
  • cleaning up contaminated and abandoned sites (pre-1980s)
  • improving intersections to reduce vehicle incidents


Our section of the highway plays a critical role as the backbone of most economic activity in north eastern B.C., Yukon and northern Canada. The historic highway provides access to some of the most remote regions of North America, and leading northern tourist destinations, including remote wilderness, hot springs and mountain scenery.

Relations with First Nations

Local First Nations have worked on and operate businesses associated with the highway. We have worked intensively in the last few years to improve relationships with the local First Nations, and many of our projects now include Indigenous Benefit Plans. We’re also continuing to engage with local First Nations in developing improved economic opportunities associated with the operation of the highway.

Current projects

To ensure the continued safe operation of the highway, we maintain a rigorous inspection and assessment of the bridges, culverts and road surface on an annual basis.

Asphalt overlay program

A 3-year program was developed to extend the service life of aging asphalt where cracking and rutting has been observed; surface treatments or overlays will be applied to improve the condition of the asphalt.

In May 2024, we awarded a contract worth over $13.5 million for the first year of the asphalt overlay program to Peter Brothers Construction Limited, to repair 61 kilometres of asphalt road surface from km 390 to km 451. Once the surface treatment has been completed, the area will have rumble strips installed and lines painted.

Work will begin in June and end in October 2024. Traffic controls will be implemented during all phases of construction and average stoppage time will not exceed 15 minutes.

Reclamation and surface treatment project

Several bituminous surface treatment (BST) sections of the Alaska Highway are deteriorating due to age and heavy commercial traffic.

In June 2023, we awarded a contract worth approximately $8.3 million (taxes included) to White Bear Industries to conduct a full-depth reclamation and repair the BST sections of the highway between km 571 and km 957.

This project will be delivered in 2 phases:

  • phase 1: July to October 2023
  • phase 2: June to October 2024

Other ongoing projects

A number of projects are planned and executed based on the recommendation of regular inspection reports.

The most significant projects underway or planned include:

  • km 133 to 968 small culvert program of work
  • km 225: Pink Mountain intersection improvements
  • km 228 to 367: small culvert replacement
  • km 228 and km 698: rockfall protection
  • km 384 to 650 multi-culvert rehabilitation
  • km 660: erosion protection
  • km 763 Lower Liard River Bridge deck repairs
  • Toad River salt shed replacement
  • riprap and aggregate production

Contamination assessment and clean up

In the next 5 years, there will be more than 50 Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) projects on the Alaska Highway, with costs ranging from $25,000 to $2 million.

As part of the FCSAP, we will conduct an assessment after each project to determine the level of contamination and decide if cleanup is needed.

For each project, the cleanup might involve tasks such as:

  • carrying out excavation work
  • transporting the waste to a disposal facility
  • using an on-site bioremediation facility to treat the contamination

History of the highway

The Alaska Highway was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It was built to provide land access to Alaska from the lower 48 states during the Second World War. The highway was critical to servicing the military outposts during the war and was the foundation for defence support in the form of transporting equipment and supplies. Local First Nations played a vital role during the construction of the highway, acting as guides through this difficult and remote territory.

1942: Construction began on the Alaska Highway.

The construction of the Alaska Highway was considered the most expensive project of the Second World War, costing approximately $185 million at the time. Also, it took around 11,000 soldiers and engineers, about 16,000 civilians, and 7,000 pieces of equipment to build the highway. The original pioneer road was completed in 1942, taking just 9 months to connect Dawson Creek, B.C., to Delta Junction, Alaska.

1943: The permanent location of the Alaska Highway was completed in 1943.

1946: After the Second World War, National Defence was given responsibility for the portion of the highway residing in Canada, transferred from the U.S. Army.

1948: The opening of the Alaska Highway to civilian non-military use officially started.

1961: Responsibility for the section of the highway from km 0 (Dawson Creek) to km 133 (north of Fort St. John) was transferred to the Province of B.C..

1964: Responsibility for the remaining highway infrastructure and operations was transferred to PSPC.

April 1, 1992: Responsibility for the Yukon portion of the highway was transferred to the Government of Yukon.

2022: The Alaska Highway turned 80.

Information for motorists and trucking traffic

km 0 of the Alaska Highway is at the traffic circle at Dawson Creek, B.C.. The PSPC section starts at km 133 and ends at km 968, where the border to Yukon begins.

Current and important information is displayed on the 4 variable message signs located on the highway at the following km markers:

  • km 130 (north of Fort St. John)
  • km 449 (south of Fort Nelson)
  • km 458 (north of Fort Nelson)
  • km 965 (south of the Yukon border)

The Alaska Highway is a remote highway. There may be limited or no cell phone coverage in certain sections and large distances where services aren’t available for motorists. Users are advised to plan accordingly and check their fuel before travelling on remote sections of the highway.

Winter chain-up locations

  • Sikanni: km 250 and km 258
  • Steamboat: km 525 and km 545
  • Peterson: km 676, km 687, km 695, km 729 and km 731
  • Army Hill: km 844 and km 849

Cell phone coverage

  • From km 133 to 555: Intermittent service, with no service in some areas
  • Northwest of km 555 (near Tetsa River Regional Park) to the Yukon border: No cell phone service

Gas station locations

Motorists are advised that gas station operating hours will vary from day to day and season to season. Refuelling stops must be planned accordingly.


As of September 2022, operation periods may be subject to change. Please contact the service provider to confirm availability of services prior to your travel.


  • Wonowon, km 161
  • Pink Mountain, km 225
  • Buckinghorse River, km 278
  • Fort Nelson, km 455
  • Rocky Mountain Lodge, km 605
  • Toad River Lodge, km 648
  • Double G Lodge, Muncho Lake, km 698
  • Northern Rockies Lodge, Muncho Lake, km 708
  • Liard Hot Springs Lodge, km 764
  • Coal River, km 823
  • Contact Creek, km 908


  • Wonowon, km 161
  • Pink Mountain, km 225
  • Fort Nelson, km 455
  • Toad River Lodge, km 648
  • Double G Lodge, Muncho Lake, km 698
  • Northern Rockies Lodge, Muncho Lake, km 708
  • Liard Hot Springs Lodge, km 764
  • Contact Creek, km 908

Truck size restrictions

The 2 locations with truck size restrictions are at km 485 and km 968: height of 5.2 metres (m), width of 4.4 m and length of 36 m (with permit).

Related links

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