The area is known as Keystone Canyon, near the terminus of the pipeline at Valdez.?
The area is known as Keystone Canyon, near the terminus of the pipeline at Valdez. To preserve the outstanding beauty of the area, pipeline engineers decided not to build the pipeline along the canyon floor, but to undertake the more difficult route--over the mountains and around.
To do it this way required a "Skycrane" helicopter and four smaller "choppers" to airlift all equipment and men needed for this three-mile long project atop the extremely deep and rugged canyon.
At the bottom, work crews took apart rock drilling and bulldozing equipment so the choppers could haul the heavy material in sections to strategic locations along the rocky ridge.
Work at the top includes dynamiting and bulldozing for the pipeline workpad -- a road that other equipment will use for the actual pipeline construction. In most cases, the pipeline here will be buried in solid rock.
The helicopters hauled numerous loads, some as heavy as 18,000 pounds. Nearly a half million pounds of heavy equipment were ??? during the operation.
The goal is to complete the workpad before snow begins to fall next month. In the canyon area, the snow pack can be as great as 35 feet.
Keystone is one of many construction challenges along the 800-mile route of the pipeline, scheduled for completion in 1977.