|An informational display about `pigs` that help keep the famous historic Trans-Alaska pipeline running at the Pipeline Visitors Center just off the Steese Highway a few miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska. These devices are run through the famous oil pipeline to keep it clean and check for structural issues. This particular orange polyurethane `pig` is used to keep sludge from building up in the pipeline.
The pipeline is an engineering marvel and an iconic Alaskan landmark recognized around the world. Over 800 miles long, it stretches from Prudhoe Bay high above the Arctic Circle all the way south to Valdez, transporting millions of barrels of oil each year. Tens of thousands of workers and over $8 billion dollars built the pipeline in less than 3 years. It is the largest private construction project in history.
The pipeline has created billions in dollars of revenue for the state of Alaska, and billions more in income that each resident receives annually in the form of dividends. The recent drop in oil prices worldwide has caused significant financial hardship for Alaska the last couple of years, but recent oil deposit discoveries along the North Slope hint at a better future.
It`s uniqueness and economic and historical importance makes it a popular tourist destination year-round, seeing people visit from all across the world.