Modern Marvels

Season 10 Episode 5

Alcan Highway

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 11, 2003 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Alcan Highway
In the world of road making, THE ALCAN HIGHWAY is a feat worthy of comparison to the legendary byways of ancient Rome. Stretching 1,500 miles from British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska, the Alcan traverses incredibly difficult and hostile territory, crossing the Canadian Rockies, raging rivers and dense forest. Remarkably, it was built in just eight months. MODERN MARVELS® ventures back to the uncertain days of World War II to tell the story of the Alcan's construction. Fearing a Japanese invasion of Alaska, the military brass decreed that a better connection between the remote territory and the lower 48 states was essential, and the Alcan was the solution. Through the recollections of workmen and extensive photos and footage taken all along the route, THE ALCAN HIGHWAY documents how 11,000 soldiers--nearly 4,000 of them black--bulldozed their way into engineering history.moreless
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