||Contract let to clean up White Alice site
A subsidiary of
the Bering Strait Native Corporation won a $1 million contract to tear
down the ruins of the White Alice Communications Site atop Anvil Mountain,
the Air Force announced recently.
Built in the Cold War
1950s, the White Alice site was one link in a chain across Alaska and
Canada designed to detect incoming airplanes or missiles from the former
Soviet Union. The site also provided long-distance telephone
communications for Nome before satellites made the site
The landmark towers will
remain standing, but the Bering Strait Development Corporation is slated
to remove everything else starting June 1. The "Operation Clean Sweep"
contract between the Air Force and the BSDC was signed Tues., March
Lt. Col. David T. Peters, commander of the 611th Civil Engineer Squadron
at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, said in a prepared statement
that Air Force policy is to use local companies and people whenever
"We are very happy that we
have been able to award the contract to Bering Strait Development
Corporation," Peters said. "I am especially pleased that they are
headquartered in Nome, close to where the work will be accomplished, and
so well represent the people of that area."
Executive Vice President of BSDC, said he expects the project to be
finished this year. Olsen said he hopes to hire about 10 to 12 local
workers for the clean-up. The project is a milestone for Native
corporations and the Air Force.
"This is a first," Olsen
Services Corp., owned by Bristol Bay Native Corp., Native-owned Pacific
Native Development Corp., and Anchorage Enterprises are also working on
the Anvil Mountain project.
The project includes:
Cleaning soil containing diesel fuel; removing concrete that contains the
cancer-causing toxin PCB; removing asbestos, another carcinogen, and lead
from building materials; and tearing down and removing the radar
operations and vehicle maintenance buildings.
The four, 60-foot tall
black towers will stay. The Air Force was ready to tear them down, too,
but the City of Nome requested that the important landmarks remain
Anything worth saving from
the site will be declared "excess" and be either auctioned off or
given away, according to the Air Force.