The Dalton Highway: A Multi-Media History of Alaska's Arctic Road

Engineering / Design: Bruce Campbell

Select a section below to listen to the interview segments.
Interviewer: Marie Mitchell Bruce Campbell, 2003Bruce Campbell, 1970s  
Date: December 20, 2006
Identifier: H2006-28-15, tape 1 & 2
Approximate Length: 60 min.
Biographical Information: Born January 23, 1931 in Binghamton, New York.
Bruce Campbell came to Alaska in June 1952, fresh out of Union College with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and went to work for the Alaska Road Commission (ARC). ARC was part of the U.S. Department of Interior. When the Interstate Act passed in 1956, the ARC changed to the the Bureau of Pubic Roads. In 1959, at statehood, Campbell worked for the Alaska State Department of Highways, as Road Design Engineer, Pre-Construction Engineer, and Special Assisant to the Road Commissioner for Engineering. In 1969, he accepted a position with Burgess Construction Company in Fairbanks. Alaska Governor Egan requested Campbell to be Commissioner of Highways in 1970, and Campbell took office February 1, 1971. In 1975, Campbell opened his own engineering consulting firm, Campbell & Associates. With his educational and professional background in Civil Engineering, he played a vital role in policy planning and development of the Haul Road.
Summary of Interview: Bruce Campbell discusses his civil engineering studies at Union College, New York, 1952; his professional work experience as a Civil Engineer with the Burgess Construction Company; his service as a Deputy Highway Road Commissioner for Alaska; his work experience with the Bureau of Public Roads and the Alaska State Highway Department; his involvement with the Hickel Highway as Executive Vice President of Burgess Construction (1969-1971); and his work on design and construction of the Haul Road (1969-1974).
Hickel Highway / Dalton Highway The Hickel Highway was used from 1968 to 1969. The Hickel Highway was originally called the winter ice road, and was used to haul oil supplies to Sagwon. In 1969, Burgess Construction Company built-up the first 60 miles of this route between Livengood and the Yukon River to the standards of a secondary highway. This section was to be part of the new Haul Road, which opened in 1974. As Executive Vice-President for Burgess Construction, Campbell was the Project Manager for this initial 60-mile construction, and later wrote the project agreement for the construction of the Haul Road (known as the Dalton Highway) on behalf of the State of Alaska.
Documents: Click to view a story about how Deadhorse got its name written by Bruce Campbell. (pdf)
Click to view background information about Burgess Construction Company. (pdf)

Segment 01) Personal Background

Kirkwood, New York\ Union College, 1952\ degree -- civil engineering\ Alaska Road Commission\ statehood\ Department of Public Works -- head of design\ Egan, Governor William\ highway department -- separate department\ jobs leading up to Commissioner of Highways\ 1964 earthquake\ left office in 1967\ 1969 began work with Burgess Construction Company in Fairbanks\ job -- executive vice president|

Segment 02) More on personal background before coming to Alaska

interest in radios and electronics\ college -- electrical engineering\ college -- civil engineering\ Alaska -- coming to\ farming -- sick of\ Alaska ticket -- cost of|

Segment 03) Design work in Alaska

building highways, bridges\ construction bids\ preconstruction\ right of way acquisition\ design and materials\ Assistant Commissioner of Highways -- duties\ Commissioner of Highways -- duties\ Johansen, Woodrow\ Fairbanks district\ changes\ Hammond, Governor Jay\ highway construction -- stopping\ Department of Transportation -- establishment\ extreme environmentalists|

Segment 04) Alaska in the 1960s

Department of Highways -- size of\ Department of Highways -- budget\ roads -- interest in\ younger generation\ road building -- attitudes about\ gold rush\ natural resources -- abundance\ natural resources -- access to|

Segment 05) Development of oil

Prudhoe Bay\ oil development\ Herbert, Chuck -- Commissioner of Department of Natural Resources\ Holdsworth, Phil -- Deputy Commissioner of Department of Natural Resources\ foresighted folks\ State land selection\ North Slope\ oil lease sales -- North Slope\ 1968 ARCO discovery well\ leasing system -- checker board\ transportation -- demand for\ equipment -- delivery\ flying in dozers, trucks and supplies to the Slope\ trails -- north\ trail -- single\ Hickel Highway\ Clark, John\ Dalton, Jim\ Cat-trains -- north\ Cat-trains -- leading|

Segment 06)The Hickel Highway

winter trail\ North Slope road\ Haul Road -- different from Hickel Highway\ road -- followed grades\ materials -- access to\ Haul Road -- purpose\ Trans-Alaska Pipeline\ 1969 stop work order prevented disastrous results\ Rooney, James\ Migliaccio, Ralph\ survey -- location\ Prudhoe Bay\ Valdez\ construction materials -- importance of\ aerial photography -- use of\ road route -- determining\ U.S.G.S archives\ Denver, Colorado|

Segment 07) Issues of supply and access on the Haul Road

August, 1969\ road building contract\ road route -- Livengood to the Yukon River\ river -- ice\ ice -- hauling over\ Burgess Construction\ building the road -- story of\ Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) -- first contract\ job -- construction manager\ 1970 second contract\ pipeline camps -- set up\ contracts -- Burgess Construction, Green, Rivers\ stop work order\ equipment -- not used\ work -- resume\ Agnew, Spiro\ Congressional approval in 1974\ Campbell, Marl\ ribbon cutting ceremony\ ceremonial ribbon cutting at Ft. Wainwright\ Prospect Creek|

Segment 08) Environmental Conditions

Burgess, Lloyd\ National Republican Committee chairman for Alaska\ Houston Contracting\ Buckley\ Burgess-Houston Company\ Burgess -- support and logistics\ Houston -- buried the pipe\ job -- president of Burgess-Houston Company\ pipeline design companies -- Michael Baker, R&M\ work -- bidding on\ Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS)  becomes Alyeska\ road construction -- timeframe\ construction -- one year\ job -- Commissioner of Highways\ Egan, Governor William -- election\ Juneau\ pipeline -- ownership\ State -- discussion\ work -- review from 1971-1974\ pipeline -- construction\ Haul Road -- construction|

Segment 09) Supervising construction of the road

road -- construction\ supervision\ supervisors -- assignment of\ highway -- segments\ segments -- separate contractors\ road -- finished September 1974\ pipeline road -- oversight\ State official -- key\ road -- Alyeska access\ access -- exclusive for two years\ Dalton, Jim\ highway -- naming of\ Dalton, Mike\ Dalton led Cat-trains to North Slope|

Segment 10) Legacy of the pipeline project

Permanent Fund dividend\ road -- essential\ oil fields\ Yukon River bridge -- construction\ bridge -- ice design\ ice bridge\ barging\ barge -- sectionalized\ bridge -- joint venture with Alyeska\ 1971 -- Campbell pushed for\ bridge -- design\ pipelines -- two\ gas line\ road -- construction\ Michael Baker Engineers\ Rooney, Jim\ Migliaccio, Ralph\ road -- width\ road-- gravel\ road -- paved\ road -- differences\ road -- maintenance|

Segment 11) Permafrost issues during road construction

permafrost -- marginal\ permafrost issues -- comparison of\ Haul Road\ Richardson Highway\ highway -- warnings\ Chena Hot Springs Road\ Holdsworth, Phil\ Herbert, Chuck\ Rooney, Jim\ Migliaccio, Ralph\ R&M\ Michael Baker Company\ Bauer, Nate\ Anderson, Ben\ Moolin, Frank\ Egan, Governor William\ Haul Road -- inspection trip\ construction -- viewing|

Segment 12) More on construction, costs, profits, and maintenance

oil -- transportation\ transportation -- cost of\ money -- making of\ Anderson, Ben\ road -- purpose of\ construction -- oil\ oil -- access\ pipeline -- engineering\ pipeline -- earthquake\ Alyeska\ pipeline -- care of \ pipeline -- maintenance\ maintenance -- “pigs”\ British Petroleum (BP) Company\ road -- toughness\ road -- weather|

Tape 2 begins
Segment 13)
Bruce Campbell’s activity since the Haul Road

job -- Alaska General Construction\ job -- Service City\ North Slope\ oil fields -- pads, roads\ Campbell and Associates consulting engineers\ retirement\ claims court\ Hickel, Governor Walter\ job -- Commissioner of Transportation\ Juneau\ job -- end of\ consulting\ car -- restoration|

Segment 14) Legacy of the Haul Road, especially in terms of cold weather construction, equipment and gear

environmental concerns\ environment and development -- balance\ pipeline -- legacy of\ Haul Road -- legacy of\ cold weather gear\ NASA program\ clothing design\ clothing -- boots, gloves, parkas|

Segment 15) Cold weather working conditions

camp -- heating\ fuels -- types of\ Livengood\ winter -- cold temperatures\ equipment -- freezing\ heat -- lack of\ Haul Road -- segment\ Livengood - Yukon River\ vehicle -- maintenance\ fuels and lubricants -- improvements in\ cold weather -- effect of\ camp -- moving|

Segment 16) Place names on the Haul Road

Five Mile Camp\ Prospect Creek\ Coldfoot\ Wiseman\ Deadhorse|

Segment 17) Attitudes about road construction

road -- attitudes about\ attitudes -- changes in\ road -- building\ Sierra Club|

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