Modern Marvels

Season 10 Episode 5

Alcan Highway

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



  • Trivia

    • The $7.2 million the U.S. paid Russia for the Alaska Territory represents roughly two cents per acre.

    • Soldiers nicknamed the Alcan Highway the "Oilcan Highway" due to the hundreds of oil and diesel cans abandoned along the road during construction.

    • In roughly eight months, 133 major bridges and more than 8,000 culverts were built for the Alcan Highway.

    • The Signpost Forest at Watson Lake now includes more than 40,000 signs.

  • Quotes

    • Narrator: 1500 miles, 11,000 soldiers, nearly 4,000 of them black, charged by a fateful time with a meaningful military role. Their task? Build a highway through some of the most imposing landscapes on Earth. Now: The Alcan Highway, on Modern Marvels.

  • Notes

    • Commentators:

      Dan Del Villiano
      Director of Communications, Pacific Region Public Works, Canada

      Wilfred Grondine
      341st Regiment

      Chester Russell
      34th Regiment

      William E. Griggs
      97th Regiment

      Nehemiah Atkinson
      97th Regiment

      Terrence Cole
      Professor of History, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

      Ken Spotswood
      Freelance Writer

      Dr. Lael Morgan
      Publisher, Cascade Bay Weekly

      Glenn Ireland
      Dawson Creek Resident

      Billy Connor
      Research Manager, Alaska Department of Transportation

  • Allusions