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Construction crew finds dynamite beneath Sterling Highway; authorities detonate explosive

A partial stick of dynamite was found underground near milepost 58 of Sterling Highway.
A partial stick of dynamite was found underground near milepost 58 of Sterling Highway.(AP)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:03 AM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:56 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A partial stick of dynamite was found underground by a road construction crew near milepost 58 of Sterling Highway on Tuesday.

FBI personnel disposed of the dynamite by conducting a controlled detonation at the location it was found, Alaska State Troopers said in an online dispatch. No injuries were reported.

Troopers said the explosive was found with a blasting cap inserted. The agency believes the dynamite had been in place since the highway was originally constructed.

The highway connecting Cooper Landing and Homer was opened to the public in 1950. The road system was merely a gravel road with numerous winding curves back then.

It wasn’t until 2001 that the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities completed upgrades to the highway from milepost 37 to 45.

The department initially planned to renovate the highway from milepost 37-60, but the second half of the project was not approved.

Following years of examining the region and roadway alternatives, the department approved an alternative design in 2018 that would alleviate congestion in the area.

Construction for the road project did not begin until this summer and is not expected to be completed until 2025, according to the department.

Alaska’s News Source asked the department if the dynamite’s discovery and detonation delayed or halted the road project, but officials did not respond before publishing this article.

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