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Bruce A. Campbell Alaska Road Commission Collection, 1952-1960 (bulk)

Identifier: PCA 547

Content Description

History of the Alaska Road Commission and related organizations: Alaska Railroad Commission, Bureau of Public Roads, and Department of Transportation, as well as documentation of selected road building projects in Alaska, circa 1952-1970s.


  • Majority of material found within 1952-1960

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is unrestricted.

Biographical / Historical

From donor’s notes: I was born in Kirkwood N.Y. in 1931 on a small family farm and graduated as a Civil Engineer from Union College in Schenectady N.Y. in 1952. About 10 days after graduation I crawled on a Northwest Airlines Stratocruiser and arrived in Anchorage in mid-June.

I obtained employment with the Alaska Road Commission (ARC) and my first assignment was as a surveyor at the village of Kenai. The ARC had completed the Sterling Highway to Homer with a spur road to Kenai in 1950 arid in accordance with its enabling act of 1905 switched its Kenai efforts to constructing "Farm Roads" on the Peninsula in order to enhance economical development in the area.

It was an interesting time in-as-much is as soon as a Farm Road was cleared; homesteaders staked out their allotment on each side of the cleared area before an actual road was constructed. Our survey crew was tasked with locating various farm roads and staking them for construction.

Included in 1952 were the North Kenai Farm road, Miller loop Road, Beaver Creek Loop Road, Small Tracks Road, Robinson Loop Road, Skilak Lake Road, and Homer-Kachamac Bay Road.

Our survey crew was based in the main ARC camp about 1 ½ miles +/- east of the Kenai Airport. The construction superintendent was Ralph Solberg and he and his wife and 2 daughters lived in the ARC furnished house across the creek from the main camp. Gene Evancoe was the Resident Engineer the boss of the survey crew.

My camera was a CIRO 35mm and I used Kodak film. The film spool came in a plastic can and the spool had a slot that was light-proof out of which the end of the film projected. The spool had an internal shaft with an exterior tab that fit into the camera's wind and rewind wheel. The can came with a cloth bag with a Kodiak mailing tag attached and when you finished the 20 shot film you mailed it to Kodiak and they mailed the mounted transparencies back in a neat little box.

Late in 1952 and in 1953 I was assigned as a project engineer on roads in the Anchorage area until December when I was transferred to the Bridge Design section in Juneau. I was assigned to Cantwell in the spring of 1954 as Project Engineer on Denali Highway bridge Construction. I wintered in Juneau and summered in Cantwell until late 1956. From 1956 to 1959 I worked in Juneau in the road design section. --Bruce A. Campbell, November 1, 2011


2 Volumes (2 boxes) : 255 photographic prints ; 255 35mm color slides ; 3 binders of color images and paper documents

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Copies

Photographs digitized and available for viewing via Alaska's Digital Archives: J21a-J25a

Processing Information

Items arrived in plastic three-ring binders. Paper encased slides arrived sleeved in mylar. Prints are from digital files, although they match the slides exactly. Donor’s numbering system retained for clarity. All material was removed from the binders and housed in acid free folders. See the Winfred Scott Tilton Photograph Collection (PCA 542) for complimentary photographs and documents of the same time period and projects.

Finding Aid for the Bruce A. Campbell Alaska Road Commission Collection, 1952-1960 (bulk)
In Progress
Finding Aid prepared by: Anastasia Tarmann, Sept. 2014; Revised by: Jacki Swearingen, Jan. 2016; ArchivesSpace Finding Aid by: Melissa Scriven, April 2019
2019 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Alaska State Library - Historical Collections Finding Aids Repository

PO Box 110571
Juneau AK 99811-0571 US
907-465-2151 (Fax)