Builders of the 798-mile (1,284 kms) long Alaskan oil pipeline are using unique hovercraft-type barges to move heavy equipment acrose the Yukon River.
AERIAL GV Floating platform (3 shots)
GV Lorries on platform
GV alongside platform TILT DOWN TO CLOSE SHOT water
GV Winch mechanism on shore
GV Floating platform approaches landing jetty
SV Man guiding lorry off platform
Lorries driving off platform (2 shots)
AERIAL V Raft in river
Initials BB/1940 MW/CD/BB/1955
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Background: Builders of the 798-mile (1,284 kms) long Alaskan oil pipeline are using unique hovercraft-type barges to move heavy equipment acrose the Yukon River.
The State of Alaska of is building bridge across the river, but it is not expected to be finished until later this year.
Until then these barges will be used, moving 160 tons of equipment at a time.
They are 85 feet (25 metres) wide and 120 feet (30 metres) long and float on a ??? foot (1.5 metres) cushion of air, created by two large fans.
A rigid rubber skirt around the base of the barge keeps the air packed under the craft.
The barge is pulled across the 2,000 foot (650 metre)wide river by a dual cable powered by huge winches.
The two craft being used take about 15 minutes to make the crossing.
When they reach shore, the air is shut off and the barges settle, allowing trucks and equipment to be driven off on special loading ramps.