Highway #1 - Alaska Highway, Km. 1684

Destruction Bay

Photo from Destruction Bay

Relay Stations

Driving the early Alaska Highway was difficult and often dangerous, causing wear and tear on man and machine alike. The 1942 army pioneer road was a hastily cut track that had to be rebuilt by civilian contractors of the United States Public Roads Administration. In the meantime, it was essential to keep equipment and supplies moving non-stop to both highway construction camps and military bases in Alaska. In January 1943, the United States Army Quartermaster troops took over transport operations. They set up relay stations, spaced at 100 mile intervals, in order to spell off truck drivers and repair their hard-used vehicles.

Each relay station was a sizeable camp, housing a Quartermaster truck company. Maintenance services included a twenty-five-car garage, inspection sheds, and gas and oil dispensers. Hot meals were served around the clock to drivers and passengers travelling the highway.

The relay station at Destruction Bay opened in March 1943, but operated for less than two years. By the end of the war, the relay stations had closed down as the road improved and military traffic lessened. Many of their functions were taken over by the maintenance camps. These camps were run by civilian employees, who were encouraged to bring their families north. Such a camp was the beginning of today's community of Destruction Bay.

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