Port Heiden’s gravel roadways are vital to its existence.
There are no highways or streets that lead to Port Heiden, all imports and exports come and go by barge or aircraft. But the village still has lots of vehicles, mostly trucks and ATVs, and is a wide-spread community spanning over ten miles.
The road crew is in charge of making sure these roads are shapely and structurally sound. “Operators” are valued members of the village and perform many functions during construction and repair projects.
These tasks could include anything from hauling gravel, excavating, laying, leveling, and compacting. It’s hard work, but these are exceptionally hardy souls who have mastered their work and operate well as a team. Their years of experience have created a motivating and efficient cohesion.
Even younger village members contribute to this critical work, like Jake, a recent high school graduate.
As erosion and the elements take their tolls, Jake and his cohorts maintain the roads that ensure everyone’s access to the airport, health clinic, community center, school, and countless trails leading to fishing and hunting spots.
Their work is daunting and never ending, but these every day heroes keep Port Heiden’s lifeblood flowing.