News Release Manager

JOINT NEWS RELEASE: Portion of Moose Creek Dam crest closed to public at Chena Project

USACE - Alaska District & Fairbanks North Star Borough
Published June 29, 2023
Updated: June 29, 2023

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District is prohibiting public access of about three miles of the Moose Creek Dam Trail, located on the dam crest at the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project near North Pole.

Recreators are unable to use a portion of the Moose Creek Dam Trail on the top of the dam, known as the crest, starting at the access ramp near the closed entrance station on Laurance Road stretching to the control works ramp at the Chena River. Due to ongoing construction activities to complete the Moose Creek Dam Modification Project, a closure is necessary to increase public safety. Restricted access will begin in July and is anticipated to reopen in October.

“Public safety is our bottom line and there will be a lot of heavy machinery operating in that area,” said Col. Damon Delarosa, commander of the Alaska District. “This project is critical for the greater Fairbanks community and we are committed to addressing risks associated with aging infrastructure. At the same time, we empathize that this is a temporary inconvenience.”

Laurance Road that runs parallel and below the levee will remain open to vehicle traffic. Drivers should adhere to all construction signage and traffic signals. Meanwhile, the public can utilize the Moose Creek Dam Trail running South along the dam crest between the closed entrance station and the entrance of the project. This area can be accessed via the parking lot at the project entrance and the parking lot located up and over the dam near the closed entrance station.

"The Moose Creek Dam has safely protected the Fairbanks North Star Borough since its completion in 1979 and will continue for years due to the Corps’ current project,” said Mayor Bryce Ward of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. “I am thankful for a strong partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I ask for the community’s patience as these upgrades are made."

USACE is reinforcing about 4.8 miles of the eight-mile-long Moose Creek Dam with a mix-in-place concrete barrier wall at depths of up to 65 feet. This project stems from a 2017 modification study that recommended the establishment of a reinforced dam embankment in sections identified needing support. This project will extend the life of the infrastructure and provide the greater Fairbanks region with protection during high-water events for many years to come.

The dam will continue to operate and regulate the flow of the Chena River as needed while construction is underway. Construction is expected to be completed January 2026.

Please monitor the social media pages for the Alaska District and Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation. If you have questions, call the Chena Project office at 907-488-5400 prior to traveling to the project to recreate.

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John Budnik

Release no. 23-009