Home Rule City
in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (val deez')
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Valdez is located on the north shore of Port Valdez, a deep water fjord in Prince William Sound. It lies 305 road miles east of Anchorage and 364 road miles south of Fairbanks. It is the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
- January temperatures range from 21 to 30 °F; July temperatures are from 46 to 61 °F. Annual precipitation averages 62 inches. The average snowfall is, incredibly, 325 inches (27 feet) annually.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The Port of Valdez was named in 1790 by Don Salvador Fidalgo for the celebrated Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdes y Basan. Due to its excellent ice-free port, a town developed in 1898 as a debarkation point for men seeking a route to the Eagle Mining District and the Klondike gold fields. Valdez soon became the supply center of its own gold-mining region and incorporated as a city in 1901. Fort Liscum was established in 1900, and a sled and wagon road was constructed to Fort Egbert in Eagle by the U.S. Army. The Alaska Road Commission further developed the road for automobile travel to Fairbanks; it was completed by the early 1920s. A slide of unstable submerged land during the 1964 earthquake destroyed the original city waterfront, killing several residents. The community was rebuilt on a more stable bedrock foundation four miles to the west. During the 1970s, construction of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline terminal and other cargo transportation facilities brought rapid growth to Valdez. In March 1989 it was the center for the massive oil-spill cleanup after the "Exxon Valdez" disaster. In a few short days, the population of the town tripled.
- As a result of significant oil taxation revenues, the city offers a variety of quality public services.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewar, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Hostpital, Mental Health, Harbor/Port, Airport (State Contract), Police, Fire/EMS, Jail (State Contract) Animal Control, Library, Museum, Roads, Schools, Parks & Recreation, Recreation Hall, Teen Center, Civic Center, Community Development
- The Richardson Highway connects Valdez to Alaska's road system. Valdez is 305 road miles southeast of Anchorage. The Port of Valdez is ice-free throughout the year, and is navigated by hundreds of ocean-going oil cargo vessels each year. Valdez has the largest floating concrete dock in the world, with a 1,200-foot front and water depth exceeding 80 feet. Numerous cargo and container facilities are present in Valdez, as well as boat harbors. Both barges and trucking services deliver cargo to the City. The Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System provides transport to Cordova, Tatitlek, Whittier, and Chenega Bay in Prince William Sound, to Kodiak, Ouzinke, Port Lions, and Old Harbor on Kodiak Island, and to Seward, Seldovia, and Homer on the Kenai Peninsula. The Valdez airport is operated by the State and has a paved runway. In addition, a seaplane base is located at Robe Lake, approximately eight road miles southeast of town.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District
- Incorporation Type
- Home Rule City