The Alcan could hardly be called a ‘road’. It consisted of bulldozed tracks through the wilderness with road conditions including 90 degree turns and 25 percent grades. Making initial conditions even worst was rain and truck traffic which turned sections of the road into an impassable mire.
In exchange for the highway's right-of-way through Canada and other considerations, the United States paid for construction of the highway and turned over the Canadian portion to the Canadian government in April 1946. The highway officially opened to the public in 1948.
Since then the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway has undergone - and continues to undergo - considerable upgrading. Gone is the gravel roadbed, replaced by a paved highway with broad ‘shoulders’; wooden bridges replaced by steel and concrete; and year-round maintenance a matter of due course.
While significantly improved over the years, the Alaska Highway still represents an adventure for all who travel its length. The scenery, wilderness and wildlife continue to draw travelers from around the World.