Business: An Icy Alaska Delay

For weeks a convoy of 15 giant barges, each longer than a football field and carrying vital equipment for construction of the Alaska oil pipeline, had waited at anchor for strong winds to blow ice away from the shore line near Point Barrow. That would create a narrow navigation channel, enabling ice-free sailing to the pipeline's northern terminus at Prudhoe Bay. The winds finally came, and the convoy moved out. But the winds shifted unexpectedly and began blowing ice back into the path of the fleet. Last week the convoy was forced to retreat 30 miles to avoid being frozen in...

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