Update Thursday 4 p.m.: The Kuskokwim ice road is now plowed and marked from Bethel to Aniak.
Original story Wednesday: The ice road is smooth, well-marked, and ready to go from Bethel to just above Kalskag - though there are still twice as many holes as usual.
On Tuesday, a crew drove their plow truck from Bethel to Allen Simeon’s fish camp, which sits on the river between Kalskag and Aniak. Tuesday, they ran their road grader from Kalskag to Tuluksak to smooth the ice some more.
The road is good, says Napaimute’s Mark Leary, but drivers need to watch for open holes. There are seven of them between Tuluksak and Kalskag, all of which are marked and highly visible. The road also narrows and veers close to a hole near Coffee’s Bend. Leary says that the ice there is thick, but he warns drivers to use extra caution in that area.
The road crew will be checking the river above Chuathbaluk in the next few days.
Equipment and funding for the ice road project comes from the tribal transportation departments of Tuluksak, Lower Kalskag , Kalskag, Aniak, Chuathbaluk, and Napaimute with additional support from The Kuskokwim Corporation, Donlin Gold LLC, the City of Aniak, Bethel Search & Rescue and Lynden Transportation.