Jimi Hendrix Clara McCarty Captain Robert Gray Anna Louise StrongAnna Louise Strong Bailey Gatzert Home WWII Women Pilots
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7099 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline begins on April 29, 1974.

HistoryLink.org Essay 3600 : Printer-Friendly Format

On April 29, 1974, construction begins for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which will transport oil from the North Slope of Alaska 800 miles to the tanker terminal at Valdez. The $8 billion dollar project marks the end of the economic downturn caused by the elimination of 60,000 jobs at the Boeing Co. Three million tons of construction material will be shipped from Seattle. More than 70,000 construction workers will pass through Seattle enroute to and returning from Alaska.

On March 13, 1968, Atlantic Richfield Oil Co. (later ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Co. (later Exxon) announced the discovery of large deposits of oil on the North Slope of Alaska. These companies and several others began planning the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System to move oil from the north side of Alaska 800 miles to a seaport on the Gulf of Alaska. The Alyeska Service Pipeline Co. was formed in 1970 by the participating oil companies to build and operate the system.

Beginning in April 1970, environmental groups attempted to block the project by filing lawsuits. The pipeline consisted of a 48-inch diameter steel pipe that crossed three mountain ranges and more than 800 rivers and streams. Ultimately, Alyeska obtained 515 federal permits and 832 state permits for the project. Thirty-one persons lost their lives in construction accidents.

Beginning in 1971, the Boeing Co. reduced its workforce from approximately 103,000 to approximately 39,000 resulting in a double-digit unemployment rate in King County. In 1973, after the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East resulted in a serious world-wide gasoline shortage, Congress passed the Trans Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act which removed all hurdles to construction. People and supplies immediately began to flow through Seattle to Alaska.

The first oil from the North Slope reached Valdez via pipeline on July 28, 1977. In 2001, the pipeline carried approximately 17 percent of the U.S. oil supply.

"Pipeline Facts," Alyeska Pipeline Website (www.alyeska-pipe.com); "Gearing Up To Build The Alaska Pipeline," Business Week, February 23, 1974, p. 28; Maureen Clark, "Bullet Hole Is Patched In Pipeline," The Seattle Times, October 7, 2001, p. A-2; "Unemployment in Seattle is 10 percent compared to a national average of 4.5 percent on June 1, 1970," Historylink Timeline Library (www.Historylink.org).

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Economics | Environment | Industry | Maritime |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

Trans-Alaska Pipeline
Courtesy Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org