2nd Class City
in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Landfill, Airstrip, Public Works Building, Fire Station, Volunteer Fire & Ambulance, Library, Community Center/Senior Lounge, Park, Cemetery, Skating Rinks
Geography and Climate
- Delta Junction is located at the convergence of the Richardson and Alaska Highways, approximately 95 miles southeast of Fairbanks. The city developed along the east bank of the Delta River, south of its junction with the Tanana River. It offers spectacular views of the Alaska Range.
- This area of Interior Alaska experiences seasonal extremes. The average low temperature in January is -11 °F. The average high during July is 69 °F. Recorded temperature extremes range from a low of -63 °F to a high of 92 °F. Average annual liquid equivalent precipitation is 12 inches, with an average annual snowfall of 37 inches.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Tanana Athabascan Indians occupied this site throughout most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The peak of the Alaska gold rush was between 1898 and 1903. In 1899, the army sent parties to investigate the Susitna, Matanuska, and Copper River valleys to find the best route for a trail north from Valdez through the Copper River Valley. By 1901, the army had completed the Trans-Alaska Military Road, which extended from Valdez to Eagle. In 1902, gold was discovered in the Tanana Valley, and, shortly after, a spur trail was created from Gulkana on the Valdez-Eagle route to the new mining camp in Fairbanks. This trail became the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail. The Sullivan Roadhouse was built in 1905 by John and Florence Sullivan on a part of the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail known as the Donnelly-Washburn Cut-Off. This section of the trail was considered by many to be too steep, so the Alaska Road Commission built a new road which was four miles from the Sullivan Roadhouse. The Sullivans tore the roadhouse apart and rebuilt it alongside the new road. Ongoing mining activity just north of Delta Junction in the Tenderfoot area and the Chisana Gold Strike of 1913 brought many prospectors and other travelers through the area. The Delta Junction area became known as Buffalo Center for the American bison that were transplanted here from the National Bison Range in Montana in the 1928. In 1942, construction of the Alaska Highway began, and Fort Greely military base was completed 5 miles to the south. In 1946, a dairy farm was established; beef cattle were brought in during 1953 by homesteaders. Delta Junction was incorporated as a second-class city in 1960. Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline between 1974 and 1977 brought a dramatic upswing to the population and economy. In August 1978, the state initiated Delta Agricultural Project I, a 60,000-acre demonstration agricultural project. Twenty-two parcels, averaging 2,700 acres in size were sold by lottery.
- Delta Junction is strategically located to provide services to summer tourist traffic. The visitor's center is located in the 'Triangle,' where the Alaska Highway meets the Richardson Highway. The community also has an elementary school, middle school, high school (with track and football field), career advancement center, outdoor skating rink, unheated skating facility, city park with ball fields, and some bike paths.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Delta Junction is located at the convergence of the Richardson and Alaska Highways, approximately 95 miles southeast of Fairbanks and 236 miles northeast of Anchorage. The city developed along the east bank of the Delta River, south of its junction with the Tanana River. Buses provide transportation to Fairbanks and Whitehorse. The state-maintained Delta Junction airport has a gravel runway in good condition. The U.S. Army maintains the Allen AAF airport, which has a asphalt runway. Plans are underway for joint use of the Allen Airfield on Fort Greely. Snowmobiles are used for recreation. Freight and mail are shipped by truck from Fairbanks.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection