The highway, first cobbled together in 1943 to join the Alcan, has been partially rerouted and improved several times. The Chilkat Pass is notorious for the severity of winter storms. The highway opened for winter travel in 1963 complete with survival shelters and manned checkpoints to make sure all travellers were accounted for. If not, search parties were dispatched. Nowadays, in severe weather, traffic is stopped 20-40 miles back on each sides of the Pass.