State transportation officials are pulling the plug on a popular water pipe along the Seward Highway.

Work is underway to reroute the water that spurts from the cliff face at mile 109 into a culvert so it is no longer accessible to the public. Crews are also constructing a rock barrier at the site to further prevent access.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy said people have been inserting pipes to collect water from the cliff face since the 1980s, but in recent years the situation has gotten more dangerous.

Pedestrians run across the busy highway and cars slow unpredictably. Since the Nov. 30 earthquake, rock slides in the area have also increased. McCarthy said eight different rock slides have been reported since last Friday.

DOTPF crews are expected to complete their work by the end of the day Wednesday, but McCarthy said it will not be considered a permanent solution. A longer term project will include scaling back the rock face at both miles 109 and 113 to take them further back from the road.

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